More people insured, but issues remain

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New data released this week indicate that even though the number of adults in the United States who lack health insurance has dropped to its lowest rate since 2008, the new health law still lacks consumer approval. A Gallup Poll released Monday, May 5, reported that the U.S. uninsured rate has fallen to 13 percent as of April, 2014, down from its peak of 18 percent in 2013. According to Gallup, the report captures the surge in late sign-ups that occurred in March.

Gallup states that there are several factors that could potentially push the uninsured figures up or down in the near future. The company’s research shows that the uninsured rate, on average, dropped more in states that elected to expand Medicaid and run their own healthcare exchanges than in states that have not. Gallup also reported that higher fines would likely prompt more Americans to sign up for health insurance.

Those people who do not pay their premiums will rejoin the ranks of the uninsured and drive percentages back up. Additionally, if premiums significantly go up in the coming year, more people may find that “affordable care” is less affordable than not renewing their plans.

Separate findings also released on May 5, 2014, from a Pew Research Center Poll state that 55 percent of those surveyed said they still disapprove of the new healthcare law, but nearly half of those polled believe the law’s provisions are likely to remain in place.