The rate at which uninsured Americans are gaining health insurance coverage is at its fastest in 40 years, in large part because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, U.S. officials said Monday.
More than 16 million Americans gained health coverage mainly through the law’s health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion states, according to an analysis published Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That figure includes 2 million young adults aged under 26 who got health insurance because of a provision that allows their parents to keep them on their health insurance plans, HHS said.
The government estimate mirrors other surveys taken over the past two years since enrollment took effect under President Obama’s controversial healthcare reform. The Health and Human Services report issued Monday is based partially on findings from Gallup, which found the uninsured rate has fallen from 20.3 percent in October 2013, when Obamacare launched with its first sign-up period, to 12.3 percent during the first quarter of this year.
The latest report is a big positive for the Obama Administration, but the Affordable Care Act remains under attack by Republicans in Congress and another challenge is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage — the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a written statement.
The administration says that about 11 million people signed up for or renewed health insurance on the new exchanges for 2015.
“There are trade-offs in the ACA that reasonable people disagree about. But with 16.4 million covered, it is doing what it set out to do,” Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks health insurance matters, said via Twitter.