Rate of Uninsured Americans Reaches Five-year Low
Since its inception, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has reduced the percentage of adults without health insurance to its lowest level since 2008. The number of adults without health insurance, at 15.6 percent during Q1 2014, fell to 13.4 percent in April, as reported by Gallup who attributed the reduction to the PPACA. Approximately 8 million Americans have signed up for private health plans via the new insurance exchanges. The new rate is a full percentage point below the rate reported in the second half of 2008.
However, as indicated by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the recent surge in sign-ups have not affected public perception of the PPACA which is as negative as it ever has been since the law came into effect about four years ago. Pew found that 55 percent of registered voters disapprove of the law. Its effectiveness, however, seems to be real in that the number of uninsured adults during the third quarter of 2013, the last quarter before the exchanges opened, was at 18 percent. Medicaid was also expanded to cover more people.
Demographically, Latinos remain the least insured group with 33.2 percent lacking health coverage as of April 2014. The number of younger Americans without health insurance, a primary target of the law, have not seen a high rate of decline. About 28 percent of the 8 million individual signups have come from those aged 18 to 34.