Uninsured Rate At New Low Under Obamacare

The uninsured rate has fallen to a new low of 9 percent, marking 16.3 million more people with health insurance since ObamaCare’s coverage expansion took effect in 2013, according to data released Thursday.

The survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the uninsured rate was 9 percent in the first six months of the year, corresponding to 28.5 million people, ticking down from 9.2 percent in the first three months of the year.

But those changes seem major when compared to previous years. The 9 percent figure is down from 11.5 percent uninsured in 2014 and 14.4 percent in 2013.

That corresponds to 7.5 million more people with insurance compared to 2014 and 16.3 million more compared to 2013.

Obama administration officials touted the new data on Thursday as evidence of the success of ObamaCare.

The administration has also pressured more states to expand Medicaid under the health law.

The CDC survey released Thursday finds that the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid dropped from 18 percent to 10 percent since 2013. In states that did not expand the program, the decline was smaller, from 22 percent to 16 percent.

Twenty states, largely led by Republicans resistant to the law, have not expanded Medicaid, often citing cost concerns.

Republicans have seized on rising premiums under ObamaCare as evidence the law is failing as the new sign-up period gets under way.

Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that the price of the second-lowest cost Silver-level plan, which is used as the benchmark to calculate financial assistance, is increasing by an average of 7.5 percent.

For other plans, the average increase is larger. A study from consulting firm Avalere Health found that the lowest-price Silver plan is increasing in cost by 13 percent.

“Perhaps the President will settle today for just trying to convince Americans that ObamaCare’s website, at least, is working better than in years past,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor Thursday. “But that just means it’ll be a little easier for middle-class families to pay more for unaffordable health insurance and higher out-of-pocket costs.”

Republicans also point to the modest growth expected in the law. The administration projects 10 million enrollees by the end of next year, up from 9.1 million this year.

“The administration is playing the lowered expectations game because they know how hard it is to convince more Americans to buy government-mandated insurance that costs so much,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) wrote in an op-ed this week.

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