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No health coverage gain from 2015 to 2016: CDC

May 21, 2017
  • The uninsurance rate in the United States in 2016 was 9%, showing no change from 2015 after five consecutive years of coverage gains, according to a report published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The stall in increasing coverage reflects less authoritative numbers from this year, which showed an uninsurance rate of 11.3% in the first quarter of this year, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
  • The report notes a significant change in the number of people enrolled in Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange plans from 3.4% or 9.1 million in the last quarter of 2015 to 4.3% or 11.6 million in the first quarter of 2016.

The stalled coverage gains came as President Barack Obama, preparing to leave office, was trying to ensure success for the ACA, which is currently facing repeal efforts. The numbers likely show an inevitable slowdown from the ACA’s efforts to get more people covered, but could also reflect concerns from rising premiums and other out-of-pocket costs.

The GOP earlier this month passed a bill through the House that would repeal major provisions in the ACA, including the individual mandate. A new score from the Congressional Budget Office is expected next week, but the CBO found that earlier versions of the bill would lead to as many as 24 million more uninsured. Senators are taking their time writing their own version of the legislation.

Such a significant rollback from a historically low rate of American without coverage is a major talking point for those opposed to the GOP bill, and the CDC report bolsters their concerns.


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