Obamacare Coverage Gains Are Eroding

The rate of uninsured American adults has trended upward in the last two years, a new report shows, with gains in coverage attributed to passage of the Affordable Care Act starting to reverse.

The report released Tuesday by The Commonwealth Fund says the erosion in coverage is likely due to Congress' deciding not to shore up weaknesses in the law known as Obamacare, and to White House moves such as cutting advertising geared toward getting people to sign up for government-sponsored insurance plans.

It also warns the trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, in part because of the tax reform bill GOP lawmakers passed in December.

"Signs point to further erosion of insurance coverage in 2019: the repeal of the individual mandate penalty included in the 2017 tax law, recent actions to increase the availability of insurance policies that don't comply with ACA minimum benefit standards, and support for Medicaid work requirements," the report says.

The rate of uninsured Americans ages 19 to 64 rose from 12.7 percent in 2016 to 15.5 percent this year, according to the report, the findings of which are based on a nationally representative telephone survey. In states that didn't participate in Medicaid expansion, it increased from 16.1 percent to 21.9 percent over the two years, and went from 20.9 percent to 25.7 percent among low-income adults.


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