2016 Rewind: Record number of insured Americans under Obamacare

Lisa Neff, Staff writer

The number of people with health insurance reached an all-time high under the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, there was a drop in the uninsured of almost 7 million in 2015 on top of an 8.5 million drop in 2014.

Meanwhile, a 2016 analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data revealed the number of Wisconsinites who did not have health insurance fell sharply during the first two years of Obamacare.

In September, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families reported that 195,000 fewer Wisconsin residents were uninsured in 2015 than in 2013, a decline of almost 38 percent.

“With an estimated 323,000 Wisconsinites who are still uninsured, we can’t rest on our laurels,” Jon Peacock, research director of WCCF, said in September.

Uncertain future

The outcome of the general election threatened these advancements under the ACA.

President-elect Donald Trump ran on a campaign to repeal the ACA and Republican leaders in the House and Senate also have pledged to undo the law.

A study from the Urban Institute released in early December indicated repeal of the ACA would leave nearly 30 million people uninsured: 23 million would lose coverage directly due to repeal of the law’s subsidies and 7 million would become uninsured because of the ripple effects of expected market upheavals.

In the health market, consumers saw increases in insurance premiums and patients saw increases in care costs that outpaced increases in wages.

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