Home Thanks, Biden: National rate of uninsured Americans reaches all-time low

Thanks, Biden: National rate of uninsured Americans reaches all-time low

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report which concludes that the national rate of uninsured Americans was 8 percent in early 2022.

Since 2020, 5.2 billion Americans have gained insurance coverage.

The Biden Administration’s efforts to increase health care access and lower costs for American families through the American Rescue Plan have dramatically impacted insurance coverage in the U.S.

“We know that access to quality, affordable health care is key to healthier lives, economic security, and peace of mind,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release. “That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration has worked tirelessly to expand access to health insurance and lower costs for America’s families through the American Rescue Plan and other actions. Our new report shows that the uninsured rate in the country reached an all-time low this year – welcome news and proof that our efforts to protect and expand on the Affordable Care Act are paying off.

In a related journal paper published by HHS researchers, Medicaid expansion improved preventive care and financial security for adults with disabilities, further evidence of how coverage expansion can improve health equity.

“As we move forward, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to do everything we can to protect, expand and strengthen the programs that provide the quality, affordable health care Americans rely on and deserve,” Becerra said in the press release. “And I’m hopeful that with Congressional action we can continue the work to lower costs for more Americans by both extending the enhanced Affordable Care Act tax credits that have helped drive the uninsured rate to an all-time low and increasing the affordability of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries — reducing their cost sharing and allowing Medicare to negotiate a better deal on prescription drug prices.”

Other highlights from the new report include that the prior low rate of uninsured was 9.0 percent in 2016. Uninsured rates among American adults ages 18 to 24 decreased from 14.5 percent in late 2020 to 11.8 percent in early 2022. Among children, the uninsured rate increased in 2019 and 2020, but decreased from 6.4 percent in late 2020 to 3.7 percent in early 2022.

Rates of uninsured changed the most from 2020 to 2022 in individuals with low incomes. The American Community Survey gathered data by each state which reflected the largest changes in the uninsured rate for low-income adults between 2018 to 2020 happened in states that expanded Medicaid services. And state estimates are not yet available after 2020.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.