A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, released on Monday, finds that the uninsured rate for U.S. adults has dropped below 12 percent for the first time since Gallup began tracking the uninsured rate in 2008. The rate for Americans lacking health insurance has been steadily decreasing since the 3rd quarter of 2013, when 18 percent of U.S. adults had no health care coverage. With the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, that percentage has plummeted to 11.9 percent of American adults who remain uninsured.
The findings are the result of 43,500 interviews conducted with a random sample of American adults from January 2 to March 31, 2015. The 11. 9 percent uninsured rate for the first quarter of 2015, is a 3.7 percentage point drop from the 15.6 percent uninsured rate in the first quarter of 2014.
The uninsured rate in the last quarter of 2013 was 17.1 percent. The individual mandate provision of the ACA took effect in 2014. Since then, the national uninsured rate has dropped by 5.2 percentage points. The decrease in uninsured rates has been most substantial with young adults, low-income Americans, and non-whites, though uninsured rates have dropped for every significant demographic group.
Obamacare has achieved one of its primary objectives. It has dramatically decreased the percentage of Americans who are without healthcare coverage. The drop from 17.1 percent in late 2013, to 11.9 percent in early 2015 represents over 12 million American adults adding health care coverage in just over a year’s time.
Republicans continue to attack Obamacare, but despite the relentless GOP onslaught, Obamacare is working for the American people. Millions of Americans who were not covered before now have insurance that they can rely upon if they get sick or injured. Many of them were denied coverage before, because of pre-existing conditions or because the costs of health insurance were out of their reach.
Obamacare has delivered tangible results for the American people. While the reformed health care system under the ACA is still far from perfect, there is no question that it is a dramatic improvement over the system that preceded it. Millions of Americans who now have insurance coverage can testify to that fact. Despite persistent Republican efforts to undermine the ACA, Obamacare is, in fact, working.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.