Some 15.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in the
first three months of 2014, down from a high of 18 percent in late
2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey.
"'Obamacare' appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the
percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage," the report
Black and low-income Americans saw some of the most pronounced drops
in the uninsured rate, with declines of more than 3 percentage
Hispanics remained the group most likely not to be insured, with
more than one in three individuals lacking coverage, though the
level dropped nearly 2 points in the first quarter, according to the
poll of 43,500 adult Americans between January and March. It has a
margin of error of 1 percentage point.
The percentage of Americans without health insurance has generally
trended upward over the past six years. Gallup began tracking
insurance coverage in 2008, starting at a low of 14.5 percent and
increasing every subsequent year except for 2012.
Obamacare's individual mandate, which requires most Americans to
obtain coverage or face a fine, went into effect in January and the
law's first enrollment period ended March 31. The government granted
a deadline extension into April for those who faced technical
difficulties while signing up.
The White House last week reported a total of 7.1 million private
insurance enrollments through the Affordable Care Act's health
insurance exchanges, exceeding most expectations, despite a troubled
rollout in October 2013.
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An additional 3 million signed up for Medicaid, government-provided
health insurance for low-income people, the administration said
Friday, bringing the total number of sign-ups to over 10 million.
Republicans have consistently campaigned against the law, making at
least 50 attempts to repeal it since it was signed in 2010.
Opposition to Obamacare also figures prominently in many 2014
midterm Congressional campaigns.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not yet
released its April enrollment report, Gallup researchers said, but
the survey's findings matched the government's last figures.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum)
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