Gallup Finds More Americans Have Healthcare Insurance

The Gallup Organization is reporting that the percentage of Americans who don’t have healthcare insurance is at the lowest level since 2008:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The percentage of Americans without health insurance continues to fall, measuring 15.9% so far in 2014 compared with 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. With only a few weeks remaining in the first quarter, the uninsured rate is on track to be the lowest quarterly level that Gallup and Healthways have measured since 2008.

The uninsured rate has been declining since the fourth quarter of 2013, after hitting an all-time high of 18.0% in the third quarter. The uninsured rate for the first quarter of 2014 so far includes a 16.2% reading for January and 15.6% for February.

That’s good news, if true.

There’s still cause for concern. For example, increases in those with insurance are nearly equally divided between two groups: those who are paying for their own insurance and those enrolled in Medicaid. There are a lot of unknowns. We don’t know how many of those previously uninsured have actually enrolled for healthcare insurance. We don’t know how many of those who enrolled are actually covered.

We don’t know how many of those who are newly enrolled for Medicaid qualified under the old rules (which means that the states are responsible for paying their tabs). And we don’t know if the states’ revenues will increase before they’re responsible for paying the full freight of those covered under Medicaid under the new rules.

Still, it’s good news.

7 comments… add one
  • michael reynolds

    And we have a report that rather than Obamacare forcing employers to shift jobs to part time, turns out no.

    So that’s no death spiral, no to crashing the economy, no to spiraling health care costs (down as a percentage of the economy IIRC), no to killing jobs, and yes, despite the frantic efforts of the GOP to trash Obamacare (50th repeal and counting!) and despite the hideous roll-out, millions more insured today than before.

    I think that leaves the all-doctors-will-quit! thing. Which also won’t happen.

  • TastyBits

    Actually, it will never be implemented. It will be extended until after the next election. What a Democratic president can do, a Republican president can do. This is a Democratic white elephant.

  • ...

    So 84.1% covered equals universal coverage? Somehow that doesn’t seem like a big win.

  • Suggest you flip over to Megan McArdle’s analysis. There’s less here than meets the eye.

  • The noise in the chart is one of the reasons I included my “if true” caveat.


    What it’s looking like is that we’re spending a considerable amount of money to insure an additional 1% of Americans. It doesn’t seem likely that insuring the next 1% will be cheaper than this last 1%.

  • Cannons Call

    Healthcare Insurance is not healthcare. US cost and delivery system is horrible. No focus on prevention or putting decisions on costs in hands of actual patient. It was put in motion in 1965 and has gotten worse since. Legal issues only pile costs on the poor system. Obamacare only makes it more horrid.

  • jan

    Cannon’s Call,

    That was a realistic view of HC, sans any rose-colored glasses that most social progressive dems are fitted with.

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