Gallup: Uninsured rate highest in 4 years, with 7 million losing coverage under Trump
Since 2008, the Gallup organization has tracked the uninsured rate through a quarterly survey of Americans in which they report their own health insurance coverage. Its National Health and Well-being Index has repeatedly and accurately reflected the state of healthcare access for Americans, and what it tell us now is not good. The uninsured rate has reached a four-year high, to 13.7 percent.
That's the highest rate since the Affordable Care Act reforms were implemented and Medicaid expansion began. Beginning from a historic high of nearly one-fifth of Americans uninsured—18 percent in 2013—it had dropped to 10.9 percent in the last two quarters of 2016, a historic low. Because, of course, there was Obamacare.
Along comes the Russian asset in the White House and a Republican House and Senate, and all the sabotage that goes along with that, and this is the result. Which, by the way, the Republicans knew was going to happen, and which they're absolutely fine with. The pre-Obamacare status quo was just fine, because what do they care if people bankrupt themselves to get health care or simply die? Somebody was profiting, and turning those profits into campaign contributions.
We're inching our way back to that status quo. The groups Gallup found were most likely to lose their coverage were women, low-income people, and people under 35. The uninsured rate for women, in fact, is the fastest-rising, and increased from about 9 percent at the end of 2016 to almost 13 percent at the end of last year. Younger people and poorer people, however, make up the largest percentages, with more than a quarter of people whose household income is less than $24,000 uninsured, and nearly 22 percent of adults under 25 lacking coverage.
Regionally, the South has the worst number, with nearly 20 percent uninsured. Medicaid expansion was nearly uniformly rejected by southern states, and this is the result. Even when uninsured rates were their lowest in 2016, those states still had nearly 16 percent uninsured.
What this means is that 7 million Americans have lost coverage in two years. That's problematic, to say the least, for health advocates and providers. «Research shows uninsured individuals are more apt to skip cancer screenings, delay getting necessary care and ultimately are more likely to have their cancer diagnosed at a later stage when survival is less likely and costs are higher,» says Chris Hansen, president of the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society. It is «deeply troubling to see more Americans becoming uninsured,» he added.
We're going to have another healthcare election in 2020, and it's going to result in Democrats winning, again.