Getty Images/Saul Loeb-Pool
Getty Images/Saul Loeb-Pool

The uninsured rate in the U.S. has experienced its biggest drop in about four decades. And new data from the Obama administration shows a broad effect on a variety of income and demographic groups, including young people, African-Americans, and Latinos.


About five years after the Affordable Care Act passed into law, the administration says that 16.4 million people have gained health coverage from its provisions.

That includes 14.1 million people who have obtained coverage through private insurance exchanges or through the law's expansion of the federal Medicaid program, as well as about 2.3 million young people aged 19-25 who were newly able to stay on their parents' plans until age 26.


The uninsured rate among those young adults has fallen nearly 8 percentage points since the law was passed. Here's a look (chart via the Department of Health and Human Services):

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Signing up young people into plans is crucial for the law, which needs them to balance out the older, sicker population to help maintain lower overall costs. In total, the administration says about 5.7 million young adults aged 19-25 gained coverage over the past five years.

Latinos have been the administration's main target in enrollment-outreach efforts. Closing the coverage gap between white and minority populations in the near-term is also important to the law’s goals. An Urban Institute study released last year found that if all states adopt the law’s expansion of Medicaid, the uninsured rate among Latinos would plunge to near 15 percent.


It's not there now, but the drop in the uninsured rate among Latinos has been the most staggering across one demographic group. It plunged 12.3 percent, dropping the overall Latino uninsured rate from 41.8 percent to below 30 percent. Among African-Americans, the uninsured rate declined by a bit more than 9 percent:

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The Affordable Care Act is at the center of a major case in front of the Supreme Court that could see millions of Americans potentially lose their insurance subsidies. The Obama administration says more than 85 percent of the generally lower-income population that has signed up for health insurance through the exchanges has received a government subsidy to help pay for the cost of the insurance.

Brett LoGiurato is the senior national political correspondent at Fusion, where he covers all things 2016. He'll give you everything you need to know about politics, with a healthy side of puns.

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