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Millions signed up for health care

Number of uninsured Americans at all time low

by Lisa Jarvis



Access to affordable health care is Biden’s crowning achievement. The number of uninsured Americans hit an all-time low of 7.2% in the second quarter of 2023, while the number of people who signed up for an Obamacare plan for 2024 surged to 21.3 million.

At the start of Biden’s term, about 12 million Americans had health insurance through Obamacare, or more formally, the Affordable Care Act — and that level hadn’t changed much since 2015, two years after the public marketplaces opened. When the ACA passed in 2010, 22.3% of working-age people were uninsured compared with just 10.4% now.


There is a caveat. Some of the voracious appetite for marketplace plans in 2023 likely came from the millions of people who lost access to public insurance last year. The end of pandemic-era rules that allowed Americans to stay on Medicaid without renewing their paperwork pushed out some 16.4 million people, including more than 3.2 million kids, according to the health policy nonprofit KFF.


But policymakers positioned the ACA marketplaces to absorb some of these folks. Subsidies made it easier for people to afford marketplace plans, and the administration increased funding for people trained to help the public find the right insurance fit.

Many of the new enrollees live in Republican strongholds such as West Virginia and Louisiana, where sign-ups increased 80% and 76%, respectively. Texas and Florida each saw enrollment increases of roughly a million people as well.

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