Number of Uninsured Has Jumped by 2M in 2017

Uptick is 'statistically significant' as coverage gains start to erode, analysts say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2017 8:49 AM CDT
Number of Those With No Health Insurance Up 2M in 2017
In this June 30, 2017, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks in Elizabethtown, Ky.   (Timothy D. Easley)

The number of US adults without health insurance has grown by some 2 million this year, according to a major new survey that finds recent coverage gains beginning to erode. The new numbers highlight what's at stake as Congress returns to an unresolved debate over Republican proposals to roll back much of former President Obama's health care law, the AP notes. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, published Monday, found that the uninsured rate among US adults was 11.7% in the second three months of this year, compared with a record low of 10.9% at the end of last year. Though small, the change was statistically significant, survey analysts note. The Gallup-Sharecare survey serves as a kind of early indicator, publishing several months before the nimblest government surveys.

While ObamaCare has remained politically divisive, it had helped drive the uninsured rate to historic lows as some 20 million people gained coverage. The most recent government report found that progress reducing the number of uninsured had stalled in 2016, after five consecutive years of coverage gains under Obama. Peering at this year, Gallup-Sharecare estimates nearly 2 million dropped out of coverage. The losses were concentrated among younger adults and people buying their own health insurance policies, the survey found. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell plans to check vital signs on his GOP bill, which the CBO estimated would cut at least 22 million more people. To woo GOP moderates, McConnell may look to ease Medicaid cuts, beef up health care tax credits to help people buy private insurance, and add billions of dollars to counter the opioid epidemic. (More health insurance stories.)

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