Number of Uninsured in U.S. Dropped Below 10% for First Time in 2015

About 9.1% of people in the U.S., or around 28.6 million, were uninsured in 2015 according to federal statistics released Tuesday.

The Obama administration is celebrating the figures—which largely matched an earlier release by the agency for the first half of last year—as proof of the impact of the Affordable Care Act, which overhauled the insurance system, created new subsidies for people to get private coverage and boosted funding for states to expand the Medicaid program that offers near free-care to the lowest-income Americans.

The percentage of uninsured people in the U.S. stood at 16% in 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act was enacted, and 14.4% in 2013, the year before its major coverage provisions kicked in, and 11.5% in 2014.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said 2015 was “the first year in our nation’s history that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans lacked health insurance, and the report documents the progress we’ve made expanding coverage across the country.”

For critics of the law, the number is a sign of its shortcomings, and that essentially, it has required too much expenditure and effort to do too little.
Other estimates have shown that the largest share of the remaining uninsured are people who could get coverage under the law but have chosen not to. Smaller groups are people who are eligible for Medicaid but haven’t enrolled, and immigrants excluded from coverage by the law. The smallest share, translating to about three million people, are people who live in states that opted not to expand Medicaid under the law.

The data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics showed the results of interviews conducted between January and December in which around 104,000 people were asked if they had insurance. The earlier release was based on interviews of 54,000 conducted from January through June.

CDC is one of several federal and private institutions that tracks the rate of uninsured, and its work produces some of the most recent findings.

Source Link