ObamaCare Is Working: Fewer Young Americans Uninsured

An unfortunate fact about the health care reform package passed earlier in Barack Obama’s term is that the vast majority of the benefits will not be seen until after the 2012 election. If people could see the actual benefits of the Affordable Care Act, as opposed to listening to Republican lies that it is a “government takeover of healthcare,” I bet that Obama’s standing in the polls would be far better today. While the Democrats handled the politics of health care reform (as opposed to the policy aspects) terribly, there are some benefits which can be seen today. Three separate sets of data have been released recently demonstrating that a higher percentage of young people now have health care coverage.

A Gallup Poll shows that significantly fewer 18 to 25 year-olds now lack health insurance:

Fewer young adults in the U.S. reported lacking health insurance coverage in each of the three quarters since the new healthcare law in September 2010 began allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plans up to age 26. About one in four (24.2%) 18- to 25-year-olds reported being uninsured in the second quarter of this year, down from 28% in the third quarter of 2010, and nearly the lowest Gallup has measured at any point since it began tracking health insurance coverage rates in 2008.

The declining number of uninsured young adults is slowly reversing the trend that Gallup and Healthways documented starting in the fall of 2008. At that time, the uninsured rate for this age group — and all age groups — began to increase as the economy was collapsing and unemployment rising…

The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plans appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance. Since it went into effect in September 2010, the percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds who report being uninsured has significantly declined by four percentage points.

There were similar findings in data from the Census Bureau and from the National Health Interview Survey:

New results released today by the National Center for Health Statistics show that this policy has had a significant impact on improving insurance coverage among young adults. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased to 69.6%, from 66.1% in 2010. This 3.5 percentage-point increase represents approximately one million additional young adults with insurance. During this time period, the rate of being insured for all other age groups was essentially unchanged, from 85.9% in 2010 to 86.3% in 2011, which makes clear that the gains in coverage were specific to 19-25 year-olds and can be directly attributed to the Affordable Care Act’s new dependent-coverage provision.

These results are consistent with reports from other data sources as well.  A newly-released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index Survey shows a similar significant increase in rates of insured adults ages 18-25, from 71.0% in the first quarter of 2010 to 75.2% in the first quarter of 2011 and 75.1% in the second quarter. This 4.1 percentage-point increase is consistent with the findings from the National Health Interview Survey.  Earlier this month, the Census Bureau released its results from the Current Population Survey, describing insurance coverage for calendar year 2010.  The Census Bureau found a significant increase in coverage for young adults, with roughly 400,000 additional adults ages 19-25 insured during 2010 compared to 2009.  The Census results only capture the effect of the new policy during the latter portion of 2010 and do not yet reflect coverage from 2011; therefore, the measured effect is smaller than in the more recent results from Gallup and NHIS.  Overall, these three national surveys show a consistent pattern of expanded health coverage among young adults due to the Affordable Care Act.

The number who lack insurance should become significantly lower once the health exchanges are set up, making it easier to purchase health insurance.



  1. 1
    Dominick Saia says:

    ObamaCare Is Working: Fewer Young Americans Uninsured #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/5PIamHvH

  2. 2
    Ron Cordry says:

    ObamaCare Is Working: Fewer Young Americans Uninsured #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/5PIamHvH

  3. 3
    Tally Briggs says:

    ObamaCare Is Working: Fewer Young Americans Uninsured #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/5PIamHvH

  4. 4
    John Sonntag says:

    ObamaCare Is Working: Fewer Young Americans Uninsured – http://t.co/GgKP7PJY Good news for Health Care Reform.

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