Gallup: Uninsured Rate Nose-Dives in Some States Because of Obamacare

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.

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  • Joseph Freitas

    “While a majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate is declining, as the law intended,”

    I thought it was intended to provide people affordable care not push them into buying insurance…

    • Patrick Seitz

      It’s not really an either/or. Requiring everyone to purchase insurance is one of the mechanisms intended to help make the care more affordable (along with limiting insurance company mark-ups, incentivizing preventive care and trying to make comparison shopping more transparent in exchanges, for example).

      • nick vog

        The problem Patrick is that now people TECHNICALLY have coverage, but when they try to receive care, they discover that a given hospital or doctor accepts OTHER plans but not their plan. A friend who is a lawyer never carried insurance…until he was forced to..his son needed a procedure and he discovered the hospital accepted his insurance COMPANY, but not HIS plan…luckily he found out before the procedure and ended up going all the way to North Jersey for the procedure, but not with the excellent doc he had lined up.

  • Donna

    And who is paying for the Insurance? I would like to see a breakdown of the insureds under the act. What income bracket are they,?aAre they employed. etc.

  • LenardPoon

    Can’t force medical professionals and hospitals to accept ACA at money losing reimbursement rates. Hate to say ‘I told you so’ two years ago, but none of my family’s practices or medical employers are accepting Obamacare patients. Friends that still do are on the way to turning Obamacare ‘insured’ away as well. Public was already warned but believed the fairytale told them of free/cheap Healthcare with providers of their choice.

    • That’s a nonsensical and obviously made-up statement.

      There’s no such thing as “Obamacare insured” patients. The ACA – what you’re calling Obamacare – is simply a law that makes traditional insurance more accessible and affordable. It’s not a special kind of insurance. A doctor wouldn’t even know if a patient got their insurance via an ACA healthcare exchange. It’s just insurance to them, like any other kind they accept.

      Some doctors do refuse certain types of patients based on reimbursement rates, such as Medicaid patients. But then they’re rejecting Medicaid, not “Obamacare.”

      LenardPoon, you really don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

      • LenardPoon

        Yes I do. Want names? You can call them. I can you give you names of an anethesiologist in Las Vegas, an eye surgeon in Oldsmar, Florida, an OB group in Northern California.

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