Census shows uninsured rate at record low

Census shows uninsured rate at record low
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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.

The figures further complicate GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare, which have slowed in recent months.

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The uninsured numbers started to noticeably decline in 2014, when many of ObamaCare’s coverage provisions took effect. Prior to the law’s implementation, about 41 million people were uninsured, or just over 13 percent of the population.

The law gives states the option of expanding Medicaid to low-income people. In the 30 states that have expanded, the census data showed the uninsured rate was lower than in non-Medicaid expansion states.

ObamaCare required most people to enroll in coverage or pay a penalty, and allowed young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plans.

Republicans fell short of their goal to repeal and replace the law over the summer, when a scaled-down repeal bill failed in the Senate. Lawmakers have an increasingly small window if they push again for the law's repeal.