Gallup: Fewer uninsured in Arkansas, Kentucky

Gallup said Tuesday that Arkansas and Kentucky have seen their rates of uninsured people fall the most since the healthcare law was implemented.

The rate of uninsured in Arkansas dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent this year according to Gallup. Similarly, the rate of uninsured fell from 20.4 percent to 11.9 percent in Kentucky.

ADVERTISEMENT
The statistics are significant since Arkansas and Kentucky are home to two of the hottest Senate races in the country and could help determine which party controls the upper chamber next year.

Republicans have sought to toe Democratic candidates in both states to President Obama, but attacks on ObamaCare may be somewhat blunted if people feel good about the law.

“Arkansas and Kentucky lead all other states in the sharpest reductions in their uninsured rate among adult residents since the healthcare law's requirement to have insurance took effect at the beginning of the year,” says the polling organization.

Arkansas and Kentucky both expanded Medicaid access under the Affordable Care Act, a key factor in lowering the uninsured rate.

“All 10 states that report the largest declines in uninsured rates expanded Medicaid and established a state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership,” it added.

A recent Democratic poll found Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) holding a slight edge over Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), 41 percent to 39 percent. Conservative groups have been hammering the Democratic incumbent for supporting the healthcare law.

A recent Bluegrass poll of voters in Kentucky found Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) slightly leading Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes 47 percent to 45 percent.

While ObamaCare is still very unpopular in the state, the state health insurance exchange Kynect created through the law has been very popular and successful, leading McConnell to suggest it might be able to survive even if ObamaCare is repealed.