Uninsured up from last year and pandemic likely to exacerbate this trend

Image Credit: Mexperience

The nation’s uninsured continues to grow. According to new U.S. Census Bureau data, almost 30 million Americans didn’t have health insurance last year, which is up nearly 1 million from the previous year.

While the coronavirus pandemic is to blame for the catastrophic unemployment rate, which caused millions of people to lose their employment-sponsored health coverage, the Census’ latest numbers doesn’t take this into affect. Instead, with more people uninsured than ever before, the numbers bring to light health coverage as a top voter concern as the 2020 presidential election is just months away.

Some experts said that “Trump’s expansion of short-term health plans and elimination of the unpopular individual mandate penalty have weakened the law’s health insurance marketplaces,” Politico reported. And other believe the problem stems from the high cost of Obamacare. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, 45 percent of the nation’s uninsured said they lacked coverage last year because the costs were too high, Politico reported.

The Census concluded that while employer-sponsored insurance coverage increased last year, directly bought coverage, such as Obamacare, declined by 0.3 percentage points (Medicaid saw a 0.7 percentage point decline, while its enrollment grew.)

“In 2019, 9.2 percent of people, or 29.6 million, were not covered by health insurance at the time of interview, according to the ACS, up from 8.9 percent and 28.6 million.”

United States Census Bureau

Latinos were the top group to see the largest decline in coverage among the working-class. And uninsured children, especially below the poverty level, grew by 0.5 percentage points to 5.7 percent.

According to the report, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage increased in 19 states between 2018 and 2019. Virginia was the only state to have an increase in health insurance coverage. All states and the District of Columbia had a lower uninsured rate in 2019 than in 2010, the report concluded.


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