Poll: Number Of Uninsured Drops By Millions As Obamacare Takes Effect

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The U.S. uninsured rate tumbled more than a percentage point from December 2013 to January 2014, according to a new Gallup poll, indicating that millions of Americans became covered at the same time that Obamacare coverage took full effect this month.

The percentage of uninsured Americans fell from 17.3 percent in December to 16.1 percent in January, Gallup found. Among different subsets, the biggest drop was among the unemployed: 6.7 percent.

As the Associated Press reported, the falling uninsured rate would correspond with two to three million people becoming insured. The Obama administration has reported that 2.2 million people had signed up for private coverage through the health care reform law as of Dec. 28. More than 6 million people have also been enrolled in Medicaid since October, and among those, people covered by the program’s expansion under Obamacare would have had their coverage start on Jan. 1

Gallup cautioned that it’s unclear if the drop is directly correlated with Obamacare’s implementation.

“The uninsured rate has fluctuated at other points over the past several years,” the firm said, “so it is unclear if this small decline is a reflection of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that took effect on Jan. 1, or if this is part of a trend based on other reasons.”

The poll, conducted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 19, surveyed 9,145 American adults, ages 18 and older.

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