Number of Americans without health insurance changes significantly


A new survey revealed that recent gains in the number of U.S. adults with health insurance are beginning to erode, with approximately 2 million more people reporting being uninsured this year.

The findings highlight the critical need for Congress to address the unresolved debate over Republican proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Published Monday, the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index found that the uninsured rate among U.S. adults was 11.7 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with a record low of 10.9 percent at the end of 2016. Analysts noted that the change was small, but statistically significant.

Although Obamacare has remained politically divisive, it was successful in pushing the uninsured rate to historic lows as approximately 20 million people gained coverage.

An analysis of the Senate Republican’s healthcare legislation by the Congressional Budget Office calculated that an estimated 22 million more people would become uninsured under the GOP plan.

According to an Associated Press report, “McConnell has been considering easing some of the bill’s Medicaid cuts, beefing up health care tax credits to help people buy private insurance and adding billions of dollars to counter the opioid epidemic. That might comfort GOP moderates. To placate conservatives, McConnell is weighing demands to make it easier for insurers to offer skimpier policies.”

The Gallup-Sharecare Index found that the number of uninsured was rising, with losses concentrated among younger adults and people buying their own health insurance policies. The loss might be attributable to rising premiums and dwindling choices in the insurance markets under Obamacare.

Gallup-Sharecare revealed that the uninsured rate rose by 1.9 percent among adults aged 18-25 since the end of 2016, and 1.5 percent among those aged 26-34.

The Gallup-Sharecare survey results were based on telephone interviews of approximately 500 people per day, conducted April 1-June 30, with a random sample of 45,087 adults, aged 18 and older. Survey participants were from all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percent.

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