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Number of Uninsured Americans Increases By Nearly 2 Million

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• July 10, 2017 3:43 pm

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The number of Americans without health insurance has increased by nearly 2 million since the beginning of 2017, according to a report from Gallup.

In the third and fourth quarter of 2016, the percentage of the uninsured hit a record low of 10.9 percent. Since that time, the percentage has been increasing, hitting 11.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and 11.7 percent in the second quarter.

The report suggests that there may be factors in the Obamacare marketplace that are making the uninsured rate increase.

"Rising insurance premiums could be causing some Americans to forgo insurance, especially those who fail to qualify for federal subsidies," Gallup said. "Furthermore, some insurance companies are leaving the ACA marketplace, and the lack of competition could be driving up the cost of plans for consumers."

Gallup says another factor may be the current health care debate and uncertainty circling around what proposals are being considered.

"President Donald Trump's executive order permitting agencies to waive or delay provisions that ‘impose a fiscal burden' on individuals, as well as the prospect of a new health care law may be causing consumers to question whether the penalty for not having insurance will be enforced," Gallup said.

In addition, the percentage of those covered by Medicaid increased by 2.3 percent since the fourth quarter of 2013.

"The second-largest increase is in Medicaid-based coverage, with the percentage getting their insurance through this program—mainly covering lower-income and disabled Americans—rising more than two points to 9.2 percent," Gallup said. "This likely stems from the ACA's Medicaid expansion provision that offered additional federal funding to states that expanded Medicaid eligibility."