A new survey from Gallup shows that the percentage of uninsured Americans dropped to 16.1 percent as Obamacare first took effect, down 1.2 percent from the month before. Among the unemployed, the drop was most significant — 6.7 percent.
This modest indication that the law may be working as intended follows a government report that announced more than 6 million people had enrolled in Medicaid since October, in addition to the 2.2 million who have picked a private plan through the Obamacare insurance exchanges.
If you add in the more than 3 million young people who were able to remain on their parents’ plans, that means 10 million Americans now have coverage thanks to Obamacare, though it’s unclear how many of the Medicaid enrollees are renewals or previously eligible beneficiaries drawn in by the publicity surrounding the law. We won’t know for sure until spring.
Obamacare Whisperer Jonathan Cohn points out that “nobody really knows for sure” if the health law triggered the decline, which would suggest that 2-3 million people gained coverage.
Gallup interviewed 9,000 people for the survey and historically its number for the share of the population that’s uninsured tends to be higher than the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual study of Census data, which will be released later this summer.