ACA Leads To Record Lows In States’ Uninsured Rates

With data from the Census Bureau demonstrating that America’s uninsured rate reached a record low in 2016, it’s clearer than ever that the Affordable Care Act is working. Despite the conclusive data, Republicans released yet another health care repeal bill today that would sabotage our health care system, gut Medicaid, increase out-of-pocket costs, and strip health care away from millions of Americans. Meanwhile, newspapers across the country are reporting on continued success of the Affordable Care Act in expanding coverage to more Americans.

Below is a sampling of the coverage:

The Hill: “Census shows uninsured rate at record low”

“The number of Americans without health insurance dropped to a record low in the final year of the Obama presidency, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday. The uninsured rate dropped to 8.8 percent in 2016, down from 9.1 percent in 2015, the Census Bureau reported. This means that a total of 28.1 million Americans did not have insurance, down 900,000 from the previous year. The data show that 2016 was the third straight year the bureau found a decline in the share of people without health insurance.”

Boston Globe: “Number of uninsured in Mass. Continues to fall”

“The percentage of Massachusetts residents without health insurance fell again last year, to a new low of 2.5 percent, the US Census Bureau said Tuesday. That’s down from 2.8 percent of Massachusetts residents who went without health insurance in 2015, and 3.7 percent who were uninsured in 2013.”

NPR: Census Bureau: “Median Incomes Rose And Poverty Levels Fell In 2016”

“There's good news on three primary U.S. economic benchmarks: the poverty rate, income level and number of people covered by health insurance. New figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show median household income in 2016 was $59,039 — more than 3 percent higher than in 2015. And because last year also saw income growth, ‘these are two consecutive years of strong income gains,’ the Census Bureau's Trudi Renwick told reporters. In fact, ‘that's the highest median income ever recorded, but the Census Bureau cautions that a big change in its survey in 2014 makes historic comparisons very difficult,’ NPR's John Ydstie reports.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Income up, poverty down across the U.S.”

“Life improved overall in America in 2016, as income rose while poverty decreased, and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage declined… Berg said the decline in the percentage of people without health insurance proved  any contention that Obamacare failed ‘clearly isn’t true.’… The percentage of people without health insurance coverage in 2016 was 8.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2015.”

Post and Courier: “New Census Numbers Show Uninsured Rate Dropped Significantly In North Carolina”

“Even though South Carolina leaders chose not to expand eligibility for the low-income Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate in the state still dropped significantly between 2013 and 2016, new census numbers show. In 2013, before coverage was available to purchase through the federal health insurance marketplace, the uninsured rate in South Carolina was 15.8 percent. By 2016, it had dropped to 10 percent.”

Click Lancashire: “Kansas Uninsured Rate Inches Down While Those In Medicaid Expansion States Plummet”

“New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show the uninsured rate in Kansas dropped to 8.7 percent in 2016 from 9.1 percent the year before.”

Register-Herald: “WVCBP: Nearly 95% of West Virginians have health insurance due to ACA”

“Data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of West Virginians without health insurance was reduced in 2016. The data on health insurance coverage showed that 96,000 West Virginians lacked health insurance in 2016 — a decrease of 12,000 from 2015. In 2016, 94.7 percent of West Virginians had health insurance. West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said in a release that the state's gains in health coverage are due primarily to the Affordable Care Act.”

WGNO: “Report: More Louisianans have health insurance than ever before”

“More Louisiana residents than ever before were covered by health insurance in 2016, according to a release from the Louisiana Budget Project… Louisiana’s coverage gains were the third-best in the country. The state’s uninsured rate dropped 38 percent from 2013 to 2016, thanks mainly to the expansion of coverage under the ACA, Budget Project leaders said.”

USA Today: “Uninsured rate continues to drop in Indiana under Obamacare”

“The number of Hoosiers without health insurance fell 41 percent after the coverage expansion elements of the Affordable Care Act went into effect, according to new federal data. The 8.1 percent of residents who still lacked insurance last year is now lower than the national 8.6 percent rate, the Census Bureau reported.”

Winston-Salem Journal: “Rate of uninsured North Carolinians reaches historic low in 2016”

“North Carolina experienced another drop in the number of individuals without health insurance to a record low of 10.4 percent in 2016, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the rate could be significantly lower if the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved expanding Medicaid coverage to more than 500,000 of the 1.04 million North Carolinians who still lack health insurance.”

Quad City Times: “Iowa’s uninsured rate fell last year”

“The number of Iowans who did not have health insurance dropped by 23,000 between 2015 and 2016, according to new government data released Tuesday, leaving just 4.3 percent of the state's population without coverage. That's down from 5 percent in 2015. Since 2013, the year before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicked in, the percentage of Iowans without health insurance has been nearly cut in half. Then, 248,000 people, or 8.1 percent of the population, did not have health insurance. The government said Tuesday that 132,000 Iowans were without insurance last year.”

Arkansas Times: “Census data show Arkansas’ rate of uninsured cut in half since 2013”

“Data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Arkansas's rate of total uninsured declined by 50 percent between 2013 and 2016. The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion — also known as the private option and now rebranded as Arkansas Works — was approved by the state legislature in 2013. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families highlights another remarkable figure in the Census data: ‘Arkansas’s uninsured rate for children dropped to just 4 percent in 2016, a new record.’”

WDRB: “Kentucky posts fourth-biggest drop in uninsured rate since Obamacare coverage expansion”

“The percentage of Kentuckians without health insurance dropped for the fourth-straight year in 2016, according to new U.S. Census data – likely the result of expanded coverage through the state’s Medicaid program. Kentucky’s uninsured rate dropped to 5.1 percent last year, from 6.1 percent in 2015, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey released Tuesday. In 2013 – the year before the state opened Medicaid to more low-income people under the Affordable Care Act – Kentucky’s uninsured rate was 14.3 percent, according to the Census data. Kentucky’s 9.2 percentage-point drop in the uninsured rate since 2013 was the fourth-biggest decline among 50 states and the District of Columbia, behind only California (9.8 percentage points), New Mexico (9.5 percentage points) and Nevada (9.3 percentage points).”

Tribune Review: “Income up, poverty down, Census Bureau reports”

“In Pennsylvania, 94.4 percent of people had insurance coverage for at least part of 2016 compared to 93.6 percent in 2015.”

San Antonio Express-News: “Incomes rose while the poverty and uninsured rates declined last year”

“In Texas, the official poverty rate is 14.9 percent, about 4 million people, based on a three-year average for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Last year’s three-year average was 16.1 percent … As it did across the nation, the number of people without health insurance in Texas continued to decline, dropping by 70,000 from 2015, and a whopping 1.2 million since 2013, before health insurance expanded under the Affordable Care Act.”

CT Post: “Census: Income up, poverty, uninsured down”

“The percentage of uninsured people in Connecticut fell from 9.4 percent in 2013 to 4.9 percent in 2016.”