New insured numbers show tug-of-war between economy and health care reform

September 14, 2011 By Jessica Martin

The estimates of the population without health insurance in the United States remained unchanged in 2010, as compared to 2009, reflecting the counteracting effects of not only the sluggish economic recovery but also the preliminary benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), says Timothy McBride, PhD, leading health economist and associate dean of public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

According to estimates released Sept. 13 by the U.S. , the percentage without in 2010 — 16.3 percent — was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

“This number could have been much worse considering the number of people in poverty in the U.S. rose 2.6 million in the last year.” McBride says.

“The one bright spot is that the percentage of people in the 18-24 age group without health insurance dropped by 2 percentage points. This group was specifically targeted for coverage expansions by the provisions of the ACA,” McBride added.

The most significant impacts of the ACA will not be felt until 2014, when almost all of the provisions are implemented, including expansions of coverage for low-income persons and the creation of health insurance exchanges.

The estimates released by the Census Bureau Sept. 13 also reflect a large number of changes in the methods used to compute the number of people without health insurance in the U.S.

McBride has been active in testifying before Congress and consulting with important policy constituencies on Medicare, insurance and health policy issues. He is a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute Health Panel that provides expert advice on rural health issues.

Explore further: Families shifting from private to public health insurance for children: study

More information: Read McBride’s health policy brief on 2011 insured numbers in Mo. and Ill.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Older people getting smarter, but not fitter

August 31, 2015

Older populations are scoring better on cognitive tests than people of the same age did in the past —a trend that could be linked to higher education rates and increased use of technology in our daily lives, say IIASA population ...

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.