Commonwealth Fund: 9.5M fewer adults uninsured; 74% of Republicans like their ACA plans (UPDATE)
A wonderful new survey by the Commonwealth Fund was released today, chock full of all sorts of data-nuggety goodness:
We’ve known for a few months now that lots of people signed up for health insurance this year in new marketplaces. A new survey shows that the people who did so are also pretty happy with their purchases.
The survey, from the Commonwealth Fund, a research group, came to similar conclusions as other surveys about the expansion of health insurance. It found that about 15 percent of adults younger than 65 now lack health insurance, down from 20 percent before the Affordable Care Act rolled out in January.
What was more surprising is that people who got the new coverage were generally happy with the product. Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans. Even 77 percent of people who had insurance before — including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year — were happy with their new coverage.
The first number to look at is the 5% drop in uninsured adults. That word--adults--is important; it doesn't include kids under 18. Doing the math:
- 2013 Population: Appx. 316 million
- Under 18: 23.3%
- Over 65: 14.1%
- That leaves about 198 million adults between 18 - 65.
- 5% of that is around 9.9 million
OK, so the number of uninsured US adults has dropped by around 9.9 million...although the survey itself gives this number as 9.5 million; fair enough.
However, you also have to add the children. Again, I have no idea whether that 5% drop is the same for under-18 year olds, but assuming it is, that's an additional 3.6 million, for a total of around 13 million. Let's assume that a higher percentage of children were already insured and lop a million off for 12 million even.
By an amazing non-coincidence, that 5% drop is exactly the same as the estimate by that Gallup survey a few weeks back.
UPDDATE: But wait! As Jonathan Cohn notes, you also have to take into account the 1.6 - 3.1 million "sub26ers" (19-25 year olds) who are on their parents' plans specifically due to the ACA. Since this provision went into effect back in 2010, it pre-dates the opening of the ACA exchanges last October. This is a very controversial/fuzzy/ever-changing number, of course, so it's difficult to pin down, but even the lowest estimates have it at 1 million or more.
So, again, it seems pretty clear that the total number of uninsured Americans has indeed dropped by a good 12-13 million people by now.
However, that's not the most eyebrow-raising part; take a look at the next bold-faced section: 74% of newly insured REPUBLICANS are "satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with their new ACA-compliant Qualified Healthcare Plans.