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Thanks Donald: Trump Sabotage Leads To Highest Uninsured Rate Since 2014

By January 23, 2019No Comments

Gallup’s quarterly health survey reveals that the uninsured rate has risen to the highest rate since the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion was completed. A major reason for this increase? Trump’s relentless health care sabotage. Take a look for yourself:

Gallup’s Own Release Cites Trump Administration Sabotage In Its Explanation Of The Rising Uninsured Rate: “The Open Enrollment Periods Since 2018 Have Been Characterized By A Significant Reduction In Public Marketing And Shortened Enrollment Periods Of Under Seven Weeks, About Half Of Previous Periods.” Among the factors Gallup cites as playing a role in the increase of the uninsured rate:

  • Increasing Premiums: “One may be an increase in the rates of insurance premiums in many states for some of the more popular ACA insurance plans in 2018 (although most states saw premiums stabilize for 2019).”  [Gallup, 1/23/19]
  • Major Cuts To Open Enrollment: “The open enrollment periods since 2018 have been characterized by a significant reduction in public marketing and shortened enrollment periods of under seven weeks, about half of previous periods.” [Gallup, 1/23/19]
  • Slashed Funding For Navigator groups: “Funding for ACA ‘navigators’ who assist consumers in ACA enrollment has also been reduced in 2018 to $10 million, compared with $63 million in 2016. Overall, after open enrollment in the ACA federal insurance marketplace (i.e., peaked in 2016 at 9.6 million consumers, it declined by approximately 12.5%, to 8.4 million in 2019, based on recently released figures.”  [Gallup, 1/23/19]
  • Trump’s Hostility To The ACA: “Other potential factors include political forces that may have increased uncertainty surrounding the ACA marketplace. Early in his presidency, for example, President Donald Trump announced, ‘I want people to know Obamacare is dead; it’s a dead healthcare plan.’ Congressional Republicans made numerous high-profile attempts in 2017 to repeal and replace the plan. Although none fully succeeded legislatively, the elimination of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty as part of the December 2017 Republican tax reform law may have reduced participation in the insurance marketplace in the most recent open enrollment period. Trump’s decision in October 2017 to end cost-sharing reduction could also potentially have affected the uninsured rate.” [Gallup, 1/23/19]

Los Angeles Times: Uninsured Rate Under Trump Surges To Highest Level Since Obamacare Began. “The percentage of American adults without health insurance surged upward in 2018, reaching levels not recorded since before President Trump took office, according to a new national survey that revealed widespread coverage losses over the last two years…The new number represents the highest uninsured rate since the beginning of 2014, when the Affordable Care Act began providing billions of dollars in aid to help low- and middle-income Americans get covered, according to the survey by Gallup. The new report also indicates that some 7 million American adults have likely lost or dropped coverage since 2016…Since taking office, however, Trump has repeatedly attacked the healthcare law and enthusiastically backed a 2017 effort by congressional Republicans to roll it back.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/23/19]

HuffPost: The Uninsured Rate Is The Highest It’s Been In Five Years. “About 7 million fewer Americans had health insurance at the end of last year compared with two years prior, and the share of people who are uninsured is the highest it’s been since 2014, according to a new survey…Since his first day in office, Trump has directed and overseen policies that undermine the health insurance exchanges. The administration has dramatically reduced funding for advertising, marketing and outreach to draw eligible customers to the exchanges during open enrollment and for programs that help consumers navigate the sign-up process. The Republican tax package Trump enacted in 2017 repealed the Affordable Care Act’s fines on people who didn’t obtain health coverage under the law’s individual mandate, freeing people to go uninsured without penalty and causing insurers to increase prices on the assumption that healthier people are less likely to buy coverage in the absence of fines. Perhaps most consequentially, Trump ended payments to health insurance companies serving the lowest-income customers, which led insurers to increase prices to make up for the lost revenue.” [HuffPost, 1/23/19]

Vox: Under Trump, The Number Of Uninsured Americans Has Gone Up By 7 Million.Certain demographic groups are experiencing a greater loss of coverage than others. Gallup data shows, for example, that Americans who are younger and lower-income have seen a greater decline in insurance coverage than those who are older and wealthier. Women have had insurance rates decline more quickly than men. This trend is especially surprising given that over the same time period, the unemployment rate has been declining. Usually, when more people have jobs, it means more people with access to employer-sponsored health insurance. But even during this period of job growth, America’s uninsured rate keeps climbing.” [Vox, 1/23/19]

Forbes: Uninsured Rate Hits Four-Year High Amid Trump’s Obamacare Attacks. “The rate of Americans without health insurance has ‘risen steadily’ to 13.7% from 10.9% in 2016 , data released Wednesday as part of Gallup’s national “health and well-being index,” which drew from a quarterly data sample of about 28,000 adults…Following his 2016 election, Donald Trump swept into the White House in January of 2017, promising to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare. That effort was a failure because the Republican-led Congress of 2017 was unable to repeal the law nor did GOP lawmakers come up with a replacement plan. But the Trump White House has made several policy moves that the Gallup analysis indicates has contributed to fewer people having coverage. ‘The open enrollment periods since 2018 have been characterized by a significant reduction in public marketing and shortened enrollment periods of under seven weeks, about half of previous periods,’ Gallup’s analysis said.” [Forbes, 1/23/19]

CNBC: Rate Of Americans Without Insurance Rises To 4-year High As Trump Weakens Obama Health Law, Gallup Survey Finds. “The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance reached a four-year high in the last quarter of 2018, but was still well below the peak level seen before Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, a new Gallup survey published Wednesday found. The national uninsured rate climbed to 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, its highest level since the first quarter of 2014 when the rate reached 13.4 percent, according to data the compiled from Gallup. Women and adults under the age of 35 reported among the highest rates without insurance at 12.8 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively, the survey found.” [CNBC, 1/23/19]

Axios: “Gallup’s Quarterly Health Surveys Tell A Pretty Clear Story, Which It Attributes To The Trump Administration’s Handling Of The ACA.” “The number of Americans without health insurance has been creeping higher throughout the Trump administration, and it’s now the highest it’s been since the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect in 2014, according to Gallup’s latest survey…Women, lower-income households and young people saw the biggest coverage losses, according to Gallup…Gallup’s quarterly health surveys tell a pretty clear story, which it attributes to the Trump administration’s handling of the ACA.” [Axios, 1/23/19]