Poll: Uninsured rate falls 6 points under ObamaCare

Poll: Uninsured rate falls 6 points under ObamaCare
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The uninsured rate has fallen to 11.7 percent, down from 17.3 percent in 2013, before ObamaCare’s coverage expansion took effect, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Gallup points out that states that have expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare — and have at least helped in the running of their marketplace, rather than leaving it entirely to the federal government — have seen larger drops in uninsured rates. 

The uninsured rate dropped 7.1 percentage points in the 22 states that took both of those measures. In the 28 states that did not expand Medicaid or help run their marketplace, the uninsured rate fell 5.3 percentage points. 

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Expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, has been found to be particularly important in reducing the uninsured rate. 

An Urban Institute study in April found that the uninsured rate fell by about half in expansion states since 2013, compared to about a third in non-expansion states. 

Gallup finds that the seven states with the largest drop in their uninsured rates all expanded Medicaid and help run their marketplace. 

Arkansas has the largest drop, from 22.5 percent to 9.1 percent, followed by Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington state. 

Strikingly, Mississippi came in ninth despite not expanding Medicaid or running its marketplace. Its rate fell from 22.4 percent to 14.2 percent. 

Following the White House’s victory on the health law in the Supreme Court in June, President Obama urged the remaining states to expand Medicaid.

Thirty states have expanded so far, including some Republican-led states that worked out compromises to put a conservative twist on the program, such as requiring people to pay premiums. 

Some states have held out, often citing the cost of expansion. The federal government initially pays the entire cost, and then scales back to 90 percent of the cost. 

“We’ve still got states out there that, for political reasons, are not covering millions of people that they could be covering, despite the fact that the federal government is picking up the tab,” Obama said.