More Than 90% of Americans Are Insured for the First Time in U.S. History

May 18, 2016, 5:38 PM UTC
Obamacare Expedited Bid Process Limited Who Could Build Website
The website is displayed on laptop computers arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. The race to construct an online insurance exchange by Oct. 1 spurred the Obama administration to use an expedited bidding system that limited its choice of a builder to just four companies, including CGI Group Inc. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images

More people in the U.S. are covered by health insurance than ever before.

According to newly released federal statistics, about 91% of Americans have health insurance. The Obama administration is hailing this as a success of the Affordable Care Act, reports the Wall Street Journal.

This data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The CDC interviewed 104,000 people about their insurance coverage. A large portion of the remaining 8.9% are eligible for Obamacare.

The act was instated in 2010, at which point the rate of uninsured Americans was 16%. The following year it dropped to 14.4%, and the next year it went down again to 11.5%. As of 2015, nine out of 10 Americans were insured. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told the Journal that it was “the first year in our nation’s history that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans lacked health insurance.”

Obamacare has accomplished this level of coverage by creating new subsidies to help people get insurance from private companies, and it has increased state funding to expand Medicaid, which provides the lowest-income Americans with nearly free healthcare.

Though the Obama administration is celebrating these numbers, others aren’t quite as optimistic. Critics of the Affordable Care Act say that though it is bringing coverage to more people, it costs too much and doesn’t accomplish enough.


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