The White House has succeeded in its quest to increase the number of Americans who have health insurance, and the newly insured are younger, lower-paid, and more likely to be Democrats, according to a new set of surveys released Wednesday.
The nation’s uninsured rate declined by 3 percent during the Affordable Care Act’s open-enrollment period — meaning that as of March an estimated 7.26 million people are insured who weren’t in September 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
“It is a safe assumption at this point to attribute at least most of that decline to the ACA,” wrote Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in an email.
A deeper dive into the newly insured population shows they’re not any sicker than the general population. A second Gallup survey, conducted among more than 20,000 adults every night since March 4, also shows that the newly insured are among the lowest wage earners in the nation and that they skew younger. Those findings are supported by similar research released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport said that although a higher proportion of the newly insured are younger when compared with the general population, that’s not the case for those who got their insurance on the exchange, and it could be because young people are getting coverage by opting into employer plans or staying on mom and dad’s health insurance. The exchange population itself is made up of a higher proportion of older individuals, according to the survey.
All major racial and ethnic groups made double-digit gains in the number of people who had health insurance between the September and March polls, although there wasn’t specific data on exchange participation by race or ethnicity. The Health and Human Services Department also has not made that information available.
Age, race, and income aren’t the only factors that define the newly insured, however.
“Politics plays a role in everything relating to the Affordable Care Act,” Newport said. “It is not surprising to me at any rate that one’s political orientation affects one’s behavior in relation to insurance.”
Republicans made up only 24 percent of the newly insured, as opposed to Democrats, who made up 54 percent. Newly insured Republicans were less likely to have purchased their coverage on the exchange, Gallup found, as opposed to Democrats, who were more likely to have done so.
However, Republicans’ attitudes about the effect of the health care law on their families shifted, Gallup found. At the end of February, 73 percent said the health law would make things worse for their family. That dropped about 20 percent by the beginning of April — shifting into the category that the health law would “not make much difference” on their personal fortune.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."