Trump Oversees Biggest Single-Year Increase in Percentage of Uninsured Under Obamacare

White House

The number of Americans without health insurance rose by 3.2 million between 2016 and 2017, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

Young adults, blacks, Hispanics and low-income Americans saw the biggest rise in the uninsured rate, Gallup found.

The increases reverse a consistent series of drops in the uninsured rate since the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known, began taking full effect in January 2014.

Much of the change can be attributed to people who buy their own plans, likely including through the ACA exchanges.

The increase reported by Gallup is the largest single-year increase it has measured since it began tracking the uninsured rate in 2008, prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being passed.

The uninsured rate in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 12.2 percent, nearly the same as the 12.3 percent rate Gallup found in the third quarter. The uninsured rate is down from its peak of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, shortly before Obamacare's subsidized exchanges opened. Obamacare's exchanges opened in 2014, the same year Medicaid expansion began and the individual mandate - which required almost all Americans to have insurance or pay a penalty - took effect.

That increase, a 1.3 percentage point jump to 12.2 per cent, represents the biggest jump in the uninsured rate in almost a decade.

The number of Americans without health insurance rose at the highest rate in years during 2017 according to a new Gallup-Sharecare survey.

But that downward trend in the uninsured rate reversed as Trump took office in January 2017.

Gallup identified some possible causes.

Gallup cited several factors for the increase, including Republican efforts to repeal or weaken the Obamacare system, rising prices and declining insurer participation.

"This may have caused some Americans, especially those who failed to qualify for federal subsidies, to forgo insurance".

Trump's sweeping tax reform package, which he signed into law at the end of 2017, included a provision repealing one of the ACA's most controversial provisions: the individual mandate.

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