Census shows uninsured rate at record low

Health care advocates rally in the rotunda of the state Capitol building in Harrisburg Pa

Health care advocates rally in the rotunda of the state Capitol building in Harrisburg Pa

A new United States Census Bureau report shows the percentage of uninsured Texans dropped from 22.1 percent in 2013 to 16.6 percent in 2016. The national uninsured rate fell 0.3 percent to 8.8 percent in 2016. It's the second consecutive annual decline for the measure.

"The Affordable Care Act has helped more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians access health coverage", Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said.

In 2013, the state legislatures approved the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion which was renamed as Arkansas Works in the state.

By 2016, however, the rate in Kansas had fallen only 3.5 percentage points, while the national uninsured rate fell almost 6 percentage points. Private health insurance continued to be the most prevalent type of coverage at 67.5%, compared to the 37.3% who have government-supported coverage. OR is asking for a waiver to fund a reinsurance program, which would be partially funded by a state health insurance tax. "The fear is that [the 2016 uninsured rates] are not a true representation of what's happening now".

But the following year, 2014, saw a dramatic decrease in the dark blue areas of the U.S.as millions of people obtained health coverage, with much of the northern states in the country turning lighter blue, according to Census' maps.

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This year, Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare, have failed.

St. Peter said it is also possible that there was less of an increase in private insurance coverage in Kansas than there was nationwide. Rates of Medicaid-insured visits increased in expansion states for all racial/ethnic groups immediately following ACA Medicaid expansion, whereas no significant change was observed for Medicaid-insured visits for any racial/ethnic group in non-expansion states. Since then, every single state has seen their uninsured rate drop.

When Obama took office in 2009, during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, more than 50 million Americans were uninsured, or almost 17 percent of the population. Census' report for that year showed that 10.4 percent of Americans, or 33 million people, still lacked insurance. That means Kansas now has a higher uninsured rate, 8.7 percent, than the national average, 8.6 percent.

Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennsylvania's uninsured rate has hit a new low. However, 68 percent of people with incomes below $25,000 had government coverage compared to only 18.8 percent of those with incomes at or above $125,000.

Like Texas, Florida can partially attribute its higher-than-average uninsured rate to a large immigrant population and a strict Medicaid program. The uninsured rates for Blacks and Asians were higher than for non-Hispanic Whites, at 10.5 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

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