hide captionArkansas, Kentucky, Delaware and Colorado have all seen significant increases since 2013 in the percentage of residents who have health insurance.
A Gallup poll released Tuesday suggests the Affordable Care Act is significantly increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, especially in states that are embracing it. It echoes previous Gallup surveys, and similar findings by the Urban Institute and Rand Corp.
In the latest survey, the percentage of uninsured Americans dropped from 18 in September 2013 to 13.4 in June 2014. States that chose to follow the health law’s provisions most closely, by both expanding Medicaid and establishing their own health insurance marketplaces, saw their uninsured rate drop nearly twice as much (as a group) as states that declined those opportunities.
“So there’s a clear difference in the states that have implemented those mechanisms versus those that haven’t,” says Gallup’s Dan Witters.
Arkansas saw the biggest decline in its uninsured rate, from 22 percent to 12 percent. Kentucky, Delaware and Colorado also saw significant declines.
“To drop 10 percent in the uninsured rate within really just six months is really an incredible achievement,” says Dr. Joe Thompson, Arkansas’ surgeon general. Thompson lobbied for his state’s unique, bipartisan Medicaid expansion, which uses federal funding to buy private insurance for people with low incomes. He says about 80 percent of those with new, private insurance in Arkansas purchased it with
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