In the second quarter of this year, the uninsured rate plunged to 11.4 percent, down from, 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the results of the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll.
“The 2015 second-quarter uninsured rate is the lowest rate measured since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the metric at the start of 2008, raising the question of how low the rate can go,” Gallup’s Stephanie Kafka wrote.
Overall, the national uninsured rate has plummeted by nearly 6 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act were implemented. Among certain demographic groups, including minorities and low-income Americans, the decline is even steeper.
Here’s the chart from Gallup:
When the Affordable Care Act was passed five years ago, it was done so with the primary goal of reducing the number of uninsured Americans by expanding access to affordable coverage. Since then, an estimated 16.4 million people who were uninsured now have coverage, representing a 35 percent drop in the number of Americans who lack health insurance.
While the law remains as politically contentious as ever — with Republicans still denying its success and calling for a full repeal of its provisions — we now have years of solid data to evaluate the Affordable Care Act’s performance. As Phil Schiliro put it in Politico, “The right measure of the ACA isn’t whether it avoids political controversy; it’s whether it makes America better by achieving its most fundamental goals.”