Number of uninsured Americans appears to be on the rise

Although the percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), new evidence suggests that it’s inching up again.

Using new polling data, Gallup estimated that the uninsured rate for adults rose by 1.3 percentage points last year—an increase of more than 3 million people without insurance—according to a January 23, 2019 New York Times article.

Other recent data show that both Medicaid enrollment and Obamacare enrollment are falling.

One reason for the dropping insurance rates could be rising insurance premiums, according to the article. Another could be the elimination of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty. Trump administration actions—criticizing the ACA, cutting funding to publicize and support ACA enrollment, and setting policies making it harder for people to enroll and stay enrolled in state Medicaid programs—could also be playing a role.

Previous research by Benjamin Sommers, associate professor of health policy and economics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Arnold Epstein, John H. Foster Professor of Health Policy and Management, analyzed the U.S. uninsured rate using Gallup data. Sommers told the Times that the new polling data “definitely merits us digging deeper into this” to pinpoint firm numbers about coverage declines.

Read the New York Times article: After Falling Under Obama, America’s Uninsured Rate Looks to Be Rising