Uninsured on the Rise

doc_patientThe number of people who do not have health insurance is rising. A new Gallup poll shows the uninsured rate is up 1.4 percent since the end of 2016. In real numbers….that increase translates to about 3.5 million Americans.

From TheHill.com:

The hike in the uninsured rate…..comes as the GOP Congress has sought to repeal the law and as President Trump has threatened to allow its implosion.

Trump last week said he would end federal payments to insurers meant to help people afford ObamaCare, and his administration has cut funds that would sign people for the health exchanges.

Democrats have been attacking Trump for “sabotage” of the law, highlighting the 90 percent cut to the advertising and outreach budget.

According to U.S. News & World Report, “Those hardest hit by the increase, according to the survey, are Hispanics, the middle-aged and low-income workers — and unless Washington takes action things are likely to get worse. Without Congress and President Donald Trump taking steps to stabilize the insurance markets, the number of uninsured Americans likely will continue to rise,” the survey states.

CNBC.com added:

Despite Gallup’s warnings about likely future increases in the insured rates, it is not clear that (President) Trump or Congress will act to avert that from happening.

Trump last week cut off key federal payments to insurers, which will trigger higher Obamacare premiums. The president also signed an executive order that could further undercut Obamacare markets.

However, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate this week is seeking to shore up the Obamacare markets, at least in the short term.

However, the future of that bipartisan health deal, authored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), is unclear at this point. The Washington Post wrote, “President Trump became the subject of an unusual public lobbying campaign over the fate of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday as Senate Democrats and a key Republican sought to salvage a bipartisan health deal while conservatives pressured the president to disavow the agreement. In a morning tweet, Trump appeared to distance himself from the compromise, which would authorize payments to insurers that help offset millions of lower-income Americans’ health costs in exchange for granting states greater flexibility to regulate coverage. But the president later told reporters that he was not closing the door on a deal altogether.”

Alexander and Murray have been working on this bipartisan plan for several months. Talks began after the Senate failed to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act back in July.

We’d love to hear what you think about the rising number of uninsured and the proposed legislation to help stabilize the health plan markets. Let us know if you believe it should be embraced or avoided and why. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward out long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!






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