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Percentage of Healthcare Uninsured Jumps From 8.0% in 2017 to 9.1% in 2019

A census report on health insurance coverage shows the first increase in the number of uninsured since Obamacare.
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The Census report on Health Insurance Coverage in the United States shows the number of uninsured jumped from 8.0 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018 then again to 9.1% as of March 2019.

2018 vs 2017 Healthcare Insurance

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Age Factor

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Key Points

  • For children, coverage overall decreased by 0.6 percentage points (to 94.5 percent), and public coverage declined by 1.3 percentage points (to 35.7 percent). The latter change was likely due to a 1.2 percentage-point decrease in Medicaid and CHIP coverage.
  • In 2018, people in households with lower income had lower health insurance coverage rates than people in households with higher income.
  • In 2018, 86.2 percent of people in households with an annual income of less than $25,000 had health insurance coverage, compared with 96.8 percent of people in households with income of $150,000 or more.

The above bullet points are from the article.

Age Group 19-25

Obamacare forced this age group to overpay.

Millennials are bright enough to figure this out and some are willing to take the risk of no insurance.

Age Group 45-64

The uninsured in age group 45-64 are probably scared to death and praying they can make it until then. Those opting out do so for cost reasons.

Age Group 65+

Medicare is an easy choice, so this group is insured.

Some Blame Trump

Politico notes Number of uninsured Americans rises for the first time since Obamacare.

"Prior to the Trump administration assuming office, reducing the number of uninsured children was a national success story," said Joan Alker, executive director of the group, which has supported the ACA and other coverage programs. "Unless things change immediately, this progress is at risk – and our children and their families will pay the price."

“President Trump’s cruel health care sabotage has left two million more people without health insurance, forced to live in constant fear of an accident or injury that could spell financial ruin for their families," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Middle Class Squeeze

It's easy to blame Trump for everything, so many do. It goes with the territory.

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Republican policies are responsible for some of the increase. But what percentage?

Brian Blase, a former White House official who helped steer the administration's efforts to expand cheaper health insurance plans, pointed out the Census found a statistically significant increase in the uninsured rate for people earning more than 400 percent of the federal poverty line. That is the eligibility cutoff for for Obamacare subsidies for those purchasing their own coverage in the law's marketplaces. The finding speaks to the trouble middle-class families face in affording Obamacare plans, Blase said.

"People above 400 percent of the poverty line, premiums are really expensive for them," he said.

The statistics support multiple reasons, especially Republican states, not Trump alone.

Too Expensive

Some comments the Wall Street Journal on the Rising Number of Uninsured support the "too expensive" thesis.

“As the economy continues to slowly improve, people’s incomes were maybe going up a bit and that was enough to pull them out of Medicaid but not enough for job-based coverage,” said Rachel Garfield, a vice president at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

“It’s just too expensive,” said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a public-policy free-market research organization. “People are siphoning themselves off.”

Medicaid Expansion

  • The uninsured rate in 2018 rose by 0.6 percentage point in states that expanded Medicaid, to 3.5%, for people living at or above 400% of poverty, or about $80,000 for a family of three, according to the census data.
  • It rose 1.7 percentage points to 6.2% in states that didn’t expand Medicaid for this group.

The uninsured rate was up across the board, but more so for states that did not expand Medicaid.

Ultimately, states are responsible for decisions on expanding Medicaid and some Republican-led states did just that.

Medicaid expansion is ultimately a state decision, not a Trump decision.

Screwed Generation

I cannot help returning to this key stat: "Among adults aged 19 to 64, the youngest group, up to age 25, was among the most likely to be uninsured, according to the census data. That demographic had an uninsured rate of 14.3%."

That's the screwed generation.

Obamacare forced the healthy young to overpay.

By design, Obamacare forced the young and healthy to subsidize the obese, the smokers, and the terminally ill.

14.3% of them said screw it. And who can blame them?

So much for forced risk sharing.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock