The share of uninsured Americans has fallen to its lowest level since late 2008, according to a new Gallup poll, another indicator that Obamacare is reducing the ranks of the uninsured.
In the first quarter of 2014, the percentage of Americans who were uninsured was 15.6 percent — down from 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Health coverage sold under Obamacare started to take effect in January. It is the lowest rate recorded by Gallup since the last quarter of 2008.
The findings are “a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare,’ appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage,” the polling firm said.
The 1.5-percentage-point drop since last quarter is the equivalent of roughly 4.7 million Americans gaining coverage. Other recent estimates have placed that figure at 9.5 million and 8.3 million. Those estimates included the 3 million young adults who gained coverage under the law prior to this year.
Gallup also detected signs of the late March enrollment surge that helped push overall Obamacare enrollment over 7 million. The uninsured rate fell more than a full percentage point from the first half of March to the second half.
Gallup’s findings are based on more than 43,500 interviews with U.S. adults, conducted from Jan. 2 to March 31.