The Uninsured Rate Has Never Been Lower. Don’t Get Used To It.
A larger share of Americans had health insurance coverage last year than ever before. Get ready for that trend to reverse.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its most-recent survey report on the uninsured, which shows 9 percent of the U.S. population, or 28.6 million people, lacked health coverage in 2016. That rate is virtually the same as the previous year’s. The finding is also consistent with surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau, Gallup and others over the past four years.
The role of the Affordable Care Act in bringing about this change is clear from the data. Since the law’s coverage expansion began in 2014, 20 million more people have gained insurance, and the national uninsured rate has fallen from 14.4 percent in 2013, the CDC found.
The decline in the uninsured was seen across all age groups, all racial and ethnic groups, and in every state, with larger effects in the 31 states and the District of Columbia where policymakers opted to expand Medicaid under the law.
The Affordable Care Act caused the biggest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. It’s probably over now ― and the trend will begin moving in the opposite direction if President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress get their way.
American Adults Insured and Uninsured, 1997-2016
The House passed the American Health Care Act earlier this month. The Congressional Budget Office had projected that an earlier version of that bill would lead to 24 million fewer Americans having health coverage over the coming decade; there is no score […]