Gallup Poll: U.S. Uninsured Rate Down 1.2% since end of 2013

Hat Tip To: 
Steve Ciccarelli, rsmpdx

There's a lot of buzz today about a new Gallup poll which states that the total uninsured rate has fall by about 1.2% since the end of last year:

The percentage of Americans without health insurance continues to fall, measuring 15.9% so far in 2014 compared with 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. With only a few weeks remaining in the first quarter, the uninsured rate is on track to be the lowest quarterly level that Gallup and Healthways have measured since 2008.

A few things to keep in mind here.

  • As you can tell by the chart, there seems to be some jumpiness from quarter to quarter, so some of this drop in the uninsured percent may just be normal flux.
  • These percentages only include adults (over 18). Out of about 314 million people in the U.S., around 23.5% are under 18, so that's 1.2% out of around 240 million people.
  • Gallup doesn't mention anything about undocumented immigrants one way or the other, so I'm assuming that they are included in the polling.
  • That means that around 2.9 million more people (1.2% out of 240 million U.S. adults) have health insurance today who didn't have it prior to January 1st.

Obviously, there's a lot of speculation as to just how much of that 2.9 million can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps all of it. Perhaps some of it. I find it very difficult, however, for anyone to honestly say that none of it is due to the ACA.

Anyway, I don't have a lot more to say about this particular poll, but several people have brought it to my attention today and it's obviously directly related to this site's mission, so I figured I should at least mention it.