KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Uninsured Rate Hits Lowest Point In Five Years

According to a Gallup survey released Monday, the health law appears to be achieving its central goal -- reducing the number of Americans without insurance. But NBC News reports that Latinos continue to be more likely to be uninsured than white or black Americans.

NPR: As Health Law Takes Hold, Rate Of Uninsured Falls
Since the Affordable Care Act kicked in fully, the percentage of Americans without health coverage has fallen to its lowest point in five years. In the last quarter of 2013, just before the federal health law took full effect, 17.1 percent of Americans reported they lacked health insurance, according to a Gallup survey (Rovner, 2/10).

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Meeting Goal Of Reducing Number Of Uninsured, Data Indicate
Evidence has begun to resolve one of the odder controversies surrounding Obamacare: The new law appears to be achieving its top goal of reducing the number of Americans who lack health insurance. The dispute over that question is a strange one because the answer would seem to be fairly obvious: Under the Affordable Care Act, the government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize families who decide to buy insurance, a product that the vast majority of Americans value highly. Basic economics would seem to say that those subsidies would have to increase the number of people buying insurance (Lauter, 3/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Law Cited As US Uninsured Rate Drops
The share of Americans without health insurance is dropping to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office, but sign-ups under his health care law lag among Hispanics — a big pool of potential beneficiaries. With just three weeks left to enroll on the new insurance exchanges, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, finds that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months — or calendar quarter— of 2013 (3/10).

NBC News: A Drop In Uninsured, But Latinos Still Most Without Coverage
Hispanics continue to be more likely to be uninsured compared to white and black Americans, despite a slight drop in those lacking coverage. The Gallup-Healthways-Well-Being Index released Monday showed 37.9 percent of Latinos lack insurance, down from 38.7 percent uninsured in the last three months of 2013. Black Americans saw the biggest drop in uninsured rates in that time period from 20.9 percent to 18.3 percent uninsured. For whites the share of uninsured fell from 11.9 to 10.9 (Gamboa, 3/10).

CBS News: Obamacare Working? Uninsured Rate Lowest In Years, Poll Finds
In what may be a sign that the central aim of the Affordable Care Act is working, a new Gallup survey finds that the percentage of Americans without health insurance is on track to reach its lowest quarterly rate since 2008. The uninsured rate has fallen to 15.9 percent, Gallup reports, after conducting 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28. By comparison, the uninsured rate in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 17.1 percent. If accurate, that translates to a difference of about 2.5 million adult Americans. The survey's margin of error was one percent (Condon, 3/10).

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