The good news keeps coming for President Obama as his signature legislative achievement, Obamacare, has caused the number of uninsured Americans to fall to a new record low.
According to Gallup:
The uninsured rate among U.S. adults aged 18 and older was 11.4% in the second quarter of 2015, down from 11.9% in the first quarter. The uninsured rate has dropped nearly six percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, just before the requirement for Americans to carry health insurance took effect. The latest quarterly uninsured rate is the lowest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since daily tracking of this metric began in 2008.
From a long-range perspective, the uninsured rate has declined across nearly all key subgroups since 2013. But the sharpest declines have occurred among Hispanics, blacks and lower-income Americans. The uninsured rate among Hispanics declined by 9.6 points from the fourth quarter of 2013 — the last full quarter of interviewing before the requirement that Americans carry health insurance took effect. Similarly, the percentage of uninsured blacks dipped 8.9 points over this period. Across major subgroups, those making less than $36,000 in annual household income have seen the sharpest drop — 9.9 points since the fourth quarter of 2013.
The results of the Gallup survey demonstrate that Obamacare is doing exactly what it was intended to do. The ACA is helping underserved, uninsured demographic groups of Americans get access to healthcare. Obamacare has also made employer offered insurance programs stronger by lowering costs, offering more basic preventive health care benefits, and forcing insurance companies to function more efficiently.
The data proves that people aren’t losing their health insurance because of Obamacare. The opposite is true. The ACA is a step towards making access to affordable healthcare a right.
Politically, when Republicans pledge to repeal Obamacare what they are promising is that they are going to take away healthcare from all Americans, but Hispanics, African-Americans, and poor people would be among the hardest hit. Many of the people who would be devasted by the repeal of Obamacare live in Republican-voting red states.
The passage and enactment of the Affordable Care Act was a legacy defining moment for President Obama. The President has brought positive change and transformation to the accessibility and provision of health insurance. Obama is experiencing a late in his presidency string of success that feels like a reward for his years of struggle against an obstructionist Republican opposition.
Describing Obamacare as working is an understatement of what this president has accomplished. What President Obama has successfully done will save lives. He has not only changed the way the American people view healthcare policy. He has also changed America for the better.