Arkansas and Kentucky lead the nation with the sharpest reductions in the percentage of residents without health insurance.
Whether you like it or hate it, Obamacare has been effective in reducing the number of uninsured in the U.S.
Its impact may be most significant in Arkansas, at least where sheer numbers are concerned, according to the latest Gallup-Well Being national survey. In 2013, Arkansas ranked next to last in the U.S. for its uninsured rate. Now, it’s leading the country in the biggest reduction in uninsured. Arkansas’ uninsured rate dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent in the second half of 2014.
“While a majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate is declining, as the law intended,” Gallup said.
Kentucky is a close second to Arkansas. Its uninsured rate plunged from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 11.9 percent now.
According to Gallup, the 10 states that reported the biggest drops in their uninsured rates all expanded Medicaid as part of the program and all created state-based online marketplaces where their residents could buy individual insurance. Some states refused to expand Medicaid for low-income people and also refused to set up an online marketplace, meaning their residents had to buy individual insurance through a federal marketplace.
Gallup said, “The uninsured rate declined 4.0 points in the 21 states that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 2.2-point drop across the 29 states that have implemented only one or neither of these actions.”
The overall impact of the Affordable Care Act is substantial. The national uninsured rate peaked at 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013. It has since dropped to 13.4 percent in the second quarter of this year. That’s the lowest quarterly rate in more than six years, Gallup said.
“The nationwide Gallup survey confirmed other studies: Despite its chaotic rollout last fall and unrelenting Republican opposition — the House has conducted more than 50 repeal votes — the Affordable Care Act has signed up millions of previously uninsured Americans to health care coverage,” SeattlePI said.
What do you think of the latest uninsured numbers? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.