COVERAGE GAINS AND UNINSURED RATE REDUCTIONS

The Affordable Care Act has helped 20 million Americans gain health coverage, and has led to a historically low uninsured rate. Now, eight years after the Affordable Care Act improved our health care, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are taking steps to turn the clock back on Americans’ access to affordable health care.

Key Affordable Care Act Improvements …

  • Coverage gains: Nearly 20 million Americans gained health insurance thanks to the ACA. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of uninsured Americans dropped from more than 48 million to 28.6 million.
  • Uninsured rate: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate reached an all-time low — dropping from 16.7 percent of the nonelderly population in 2013 to 10.3 percent in 2016.
  • Coverage for young adults: The ACA enabled young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance longer. This change significantly increased the number of young adults with access to health care.
    • The number of 19-25 year olds without health insurance decreased from 10 million in 2010 to 4.4 million in 2016.
  • Coverage for poor and near-poor Americans: By expanding Medicaid, the ACA drastically expanded coverage for poor and near-poor Americans. Between 2013 and 2016, the uninsured rate for those living below the federal poverty line fell by 9.5 percent. For those near poverty, with incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the federal poverty line, the uninsured rate dropped by 11.3 percent in the same timeframe.

… and How Republicans Would Drag Us Back

  • Coverage gains: Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage health care are walking back the ACA’s historic coverage gains. A recent study by the Urban Institute projects that because of Republicans’ sabotage efforts this year, 6.4 million fewer Americans will have health insurance in 2019.
  • Uninsured rate: Because of Republican sabotage, the uninsured rate is climbing back up — it is projected to increase by 20% from 10.2 percent to 12.5 percent in 2019.
  • Coverage for young adults: The Trump Administration is expanding access to junk short-term health plans, which are not required to cover essential health benefits, like prescription drugs or emergency care. These plans will likely appeal to young, healthy people, who may be left without comprehensive care and with huge amounts of debt should they become ill or injured.
  • Coverage for poor and near-poor Americans: By encouraging states to impose work requirements on Medicaid, the Trump Administration and its Republican allies are putting up bureaucratic hurdles designed to restrict poor people’s access to health care. Early projections suggest Kentucky’s work requirement will reduce its Medicaid enrollment by 15% within five years.