Uninsured rate at record low

About 8.8 percent of U.S. citizens went without health insurance last year, another record low.

map of united states under ObamacareThe U.S. Census Bureau said 28.1 million were uninsured in 2016, compared with 29 million (9.1 percent) in 2015.

About 42 million were uninsured before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicked in in 2014.

Employer-based insurance covered 55.7 percent of the population for some or all of 2016, the Census Bureau said.

Hispanics had the highest uninsured rate, at 16 percent, while non-Hispanic Whites had the lowest uninsured rate at 6.3 percent.

The report on U.S. health care coverage said 25- to 34-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds were the two largest uninsured groups by age.

“So who were the uninsured?” a Census Bureau blog asked. “Uninsured people tended to be 18 to 64 years old, male, have less than a high school education and/or have lower incomes. This profile is fairly different from the profile of the overall U.S. population.”

Most states show a decline in the uninsured rate for health care.

“Between 2015 and 2016, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage at the time of interview decreased in 39 states,” the Census Bureau said. “Eleven states and the District of Columbia did not have a statisti­cally significant change in their uninsured rate.”

Taxpayers who choose to go without health insurance pay a penalty for doing so, although President Trump has sought to eliminate this key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

More than 50 million U.S. citizens were uninsured — or 17 percent — when President Obama took office in 2009.

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