May 22, 2018

Uninsured rates haven't changed under Trump

The number of Americans without health insurance barely changed in 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data: Centers for Disease Control; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: Despite the Trump administration's best efforts to do away with the Affordable Care Act, people are still maintaining their coverage.

The numbers that matter:

  • Of the nearly 80,000 people the CDC interviewed, 12.8% were uninsured at the time of the interview. That's the same as the uninsured rate in CDC's 2015 survey, and not significantly different from 2016's numbers.
  • The number of people covered by the Affordable Care Act was also largely unchanged.
  • More Hispanic people were uninsured in 2017 than 2016; coverage among the other racial groups remained steady.

But, but, but: A lot of the administration's most significant changes to the ACA weren't in effect in 2017. In fact, a lot of them still aren't in effect.

  • We might not see the full effects of repealing the individual mandate and expanding access to skimpy, short-term insurance plans — the two biggest policy changes since Trump took office — until 2019.
  • A smaller but more current tracking survey from the Commonwealth Fund recently found that the uninsured rate had ticked up early this year.

Go deeper

The health care debate we ought to be having

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images and Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans worry a lot about how to get and pay for good health care, but the 2020 presidential candidates are barely talking about what's at the root of these problems: Almost every incentive in the U.S. health care system is broken.

Why it matters: President Trump and most of the Democratic field are minimizing the hard conversations with voters about why health care eats up so much of each paycheck and what it would really take to change things.

Health policy in 2020 will be made in the states

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With legislation in Congress likely to be blocked by partisan division and interest group opposition, much of the real action in health care this year will be in the states.

The big picture: States don’t have the money or purchasing power the federal government does, but their decisions nevertheless affect millions of people, and they could signal the future of federal reform.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

Private insurance's costs are skyrocketing

Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

The cost of private health insurance is out of control, compared to Medicare and Medicaid. You see that clearly if you take a long-term view of recently released federal data on health spending.

Why it matters: This is why the health care industry — not just insurers, but also hospitals and drug companies — is so opposed to proposals that would expand the government's purchasing power. And it’s why some progressives are so determined to curb, or even eliminate, private coverage.

Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019