Obamacare supporters are painting a rosy picture of a new poll showing fewer people are uninsured this year than in 2013, but they fail to mention that the new number is lower than when George W. Bush was president.
The Gallup Healthways Well Being Index poll will likely be in the news, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration expected to release an Obamacare enrollment report, according to the Washington Post.
The Gallup survey found 15.9 percent don’t have health insurance, down from 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to CNS News. But by comparison, only 14.8 percent didn’t have coverage in 2008.
“The number of uninsured was generally below 15% in 2008 until it began to increase in November of that year, coincident with the worst of the economic crisis,” Gallup reported.
CNS reported of the new poll:
The percentage of Americans who get insurance through a current or former employer fell nearly two points so far in the first quarter of 2014 to 43.4 percent from 45.5 percent.
More Americans (18.1%) now say their primary health insurance coverage is through a plan fully paid for by themselves or a family member compared with at the end of 2013 (17.2%).
The percentage who say they are covered primarily through Medicaid is also up slightly — 0.2 percent — likely because some states have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage.
More young people are signing up, but the numbers are still not near the levels the administration projected, according to the Washington Post. Hispanic enrollment is also lagging, while people with lower incomes – those likely receiving the highest subsidies – are signing up at a faster rate.
Gallup surveyed over 28,000 adults by telephone from Jan. 2 to Feb. 28 across the United States.
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