Graph depicting Impact of Obamacare on the Number of Uninsured
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Obamacare has Reduced the Percentage of the Population That Is Uninsured From 18.2% to 10%

Description: This graph shows the percentage of the under 65 population that has lacked health insurance since 1978.

Sources: CDC   CDC

Data: Excel

Last updated: February 24, 2017

Discussion: When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka Obamacare) was signed into law in 2010, 48.3 million Americans lacked health insurance. By the first quarter of 2016 (the latest numbers available), that number had already dropped to 27.4 million. The PPACA has brought insurance to 20.9 million more Americans.

The bulk of the reduction occurred between the time when the exchanges were set up in 2013 and the deadlines for individuals to get and employers to provide insurance in 2015.

The reduction has been particularly dramatic in states that participated in the Medicaid expansion. States that did not participate in the expansion have seen the percentages of their populations that lack insurance fall from 20.3% to 13.6%, while states that did participate have seen their levels of the uninsured fall from 16.4% to 7.9%. Children are more likely to be insured than adults. In states that accepted the Medicaid expansion, only 4.4% of children lack insurance, and in states that rejected the expansion, 6% of children lack insurance. The states with the highest rate of uninsured are Texas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma (with 15% to 18% uninsured). The states with the fewest uninsured people are Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine (with 5% to 6% uninsured).

The CBO estimates that repealing Obamacare, including the Medicare expansion, would result in 32 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026 and that insurance premiums would increase by 20% to 25% more than is expected were Obamacare to remain in effect. The CBO also projects that repealing the PPACA would increase the deficit by $137 billion over the first ten years.

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