Numbers don’t lie, and the 9.1 percent uninsured rate is code for VICTORY!
That’s because this new number represents the most recent uninsured rate data from the CDC. For the first time ever, 9 in 10 Americans have health insurance. The new statistic stems from the successful passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
The Affordable Care Act is now in its sixth year of being the law of the land, and it addresses over 80 years of strife between the average American and the current health care system.
Before the ACA, the costs of proper health care were often too high for the average American. In order to save money, Americans turned to health insurance companies to help out with costs in the event of sickness or injury. Health insurance companies reflected the high costs of proper health care, and in turn, health insurance companies charged prices that many Americans could not afford.
So what did Americans do? Well, they went without health insurance coverage. As the Affordable Care Act gained influence in the United States, the number of uninsured persons dropped significantly.
Drops in the Uninsured Rate By Years
The Affordable Care Act has helped millions gain access to affordable health insurance coverage despite a rocky start. The legislation has always been a hotbed of political dispute, so Americans could not gain access to comprehensive health coverage until the end of 2013.
In 2013, the uninsured rate for Americans was 15.7 percent. Since then, the uninsured rate has dropped down to 9.1 percent or 28.6 million Americans without some form of qualified health coverage.
The federal and state exchanges opened for consumers in 2014. In this year, 8.8 million uninsured people gained health insurance coverage. Enrollments in 2015 did not beat the 8.8 million, but enrollment numbers in 2015 were far from disappointing — 7.4 million Americans signed up for health coverage.
The Health Insurance Marketplace has been in operation for a little over two full years. In that time, 16.2 million previously uninsured Americans have been able to afford health insurance.
Will the Uninsured Rate Continue to Decline?
That all depends…
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the government expanded Medicaid benefits to all states. This means states would receive more money to cover more uninsured, low-income Americans. Many states have accepted the increased Medicaid funding, but 19 states still refuse the award. If more states would accept the award, then more Americans would have access to qualified health coverage. Louisiana is the first southern state to expand Medicaid benefits–maybe others will follow suit.
Of course, the uninsured rate may or may not drop if a Republican president assumes office. Republican presidential candidates and current Republican congressmen have their differences, but they can all agree on one thing–REPEAL OBAMACARE! Paul Ryan previewed the Republican replacement to Obamacare at the end of last month, but the Huffington Post suspects that the plan has been tried and doesn’t work.
This doesn’t mean that the Republicans can’t enact a plan to help the uninsured rate drop any further. The economist Thomas P. Miller is a leading critic of Obamacare, but he derides Donald Trump’s plan to reform the current health care system. Economists can predict patterns–they can’t wave a magic wand and fix all the problems with health care in the United States.
Recent uninsured data is welcome good news
The news about the uninsured rate dropping could not be more timely. It is reminiscent of Moses and the Jews fleeing the Egyptians only to find a water crossing that was seemingly impossible. At the last second, Moses lifts his staff and the water parts. The Jews and Moses alike find safe passage to the other side while the tormentors are swept away.
The Affordable Care Act could not escape bad press lately. Republicans gained a significant court victory over Obamacare, United Healthcare quit selling ACA plans in 26 states, and rate hikes are almost standard. Just when the press could not get worse, the water parted to give safe passage to the fact that Obamacare is working.
16.2 previously uninsured people gained healthcare coverage since the end of 2013. Numbers don’t lie.
Philip Strang never envisioned a career in the health insurance industry before October 2015. He fell in love with the industry instantly, and his goal is to make health insurance simple for you. Feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are encouraged!