Just a reminder that 3.2 million Americans have lost their health insurance since Trump took office, and that number is expected to rise significantly.
The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance was essentially unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 12.2%, but it is up 1.3 percentage points from the record low of 10.9% found in the last quarter of 2016. The 1.3-point increase in the uninsured rate during 2017 is the largest single-year increase Gallup and Sharecare have measured since beginning to track the rate in 2008, including the period before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. That 1.3 point increase represents an estimated 3.2 million Americans who entered the ranks of the uninsured in 2017.
The results for the fourth quarter of 2017 are based on more than 25,000 interviews with U.S. adults aged 18 and older from October 1 to December 31, conducted as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.
It's only going to get worse of course, but guess who has already lost their insurance first?
The uninsured rate rose for all demographic groups in 2017, with the exception of those aged 65 and older, all of whom qualify for Medicare coverage. It increased most among young adults, blacks, Hispanics and low-income Americans.
Importantly, the uninsured rate among adults aged 18-25 rose by 2.0 points in 2017. Young adults serve a critical function in healthcare markets because their low usage of healthcare helps offset the higher costs of insuring older Americans.
And without the individual mandate, that rate will only go up. By rates I mean both percentage of uninsured, and premium costs. It's going to get bad, folks. Millions more will lose their insurance, probably tens of millions, over the next few years.
We're going to look back at 18% uninsured in this country as "the good ol' days" pretty soon, especially for African-Americans and Hispanic folks. As long as we're suffering more, poor white voters will continue to support the GOP, even as Republican policies literally kill them.