A new Gallup and Heathways tracking survey found more U.S. adults were uninsured in the 3Q of 2013 than in any quarter in nearly 6 years they have been tracking. People’s Pundit Daily previously reported on the millions of Americans who will lost their health insurance under ObamaCare, and now a new high of 18 percent are reporting they lack health insurance.
Gallup and Heathways’ findings represent the third consecutive quarter in which the uninsured rate has increased, as the president’s new health care law is implemented.
As it relates to the new health care law, there are two considerations to underscore. First, the insurance rate was steadily declining before the implementation of ObamaCare, which has obviously had a negative impact on the rate of uninsured Americans.
The rate of uninsured Americans was hovering around 14 percent in 2008, but rose to 16 percent in 2010 after ObamaCare was passed. It climbed up to 17 percent for most of 2011, which is unsurprising due to stagnant economic growth, in large part, due to the law itself.
In 2012, amid a temporary period of economic activity, the rate of uninsured Americans rate steadily declined each quarter. The most damning piece of evidence that the law itself has negatively impacted the rate is that it has since increased, with insurers dropping Americans from their health care plans due to missing mandated criteria, employers avoiding the 30-hour work week requirement, and almost nil job creation.
While the new findings can be used as a baseline for future indications of the law’s ability to reduce the rate, future findings must also consider those who were thrown off their health care plans, because it has inflated the rate of uninsured Americans.
Second, and perhaps the biggest nightmare for the Obama administration, is the amount of young, healthy people who are uninsured and the trend that can be asserted. If the number of young people is insufficient to cover the cost associated with insuring Americans who are poor, older, have pre-existing conditions, etc., then the entire system will enter a health insurance death spiral, running up trillion dollar deficits before the entire system collapses.
A whole 1 in 4 young adults in the U.S. say they lack health insurance, which is the highest rate found by Gallup since the 3Q quarter of 2011. Ironically, the current percentage of 18 to 25-year-olds who do not have health care coverage is below the 27-28 percent range measured in 2008 through the 3Q of 2010, which is when the ObamaCare provision began allowing those up to age 25 to stay on their parents’ plans went into effect.
The system relies upon these Americans to purchase health insurance plans on their own in order to offset the cost, but the vast majority 18 – 25-year olds who have insurance are those who are staying on their parents’ plans. Most younger Americans will most likely continue to do so if they have the option, which leaves an insufficient number in the insurance pool who are needed to offset those who are not young and healthy.
The insurance death spiral can rapidly speed up if the rate of older, uninsured Americans begins to increase significantly, which is occurring already. The rate uninsured Americans between the ages of 26 to 64-years-old again ticked up to a new high of 20.8% in the 3Q of 2013, an increase of more than 1 full percentage point from the 2Q. The uninsured rate for this age group has generally trended upward since 2009, when ObamaCare was passed and the economy suffered as a result.
The percentage of seniors who lack health insurance actually declined slightly to 2.8 percent in the 3Q, but has generally remained stable around 3 percent throughout survey tracking, because a large majority qualify for Medicare. Even if that trend were to continue, the budget would still be in deep trouble. It is a damned if you do or don’t scenario.
President Obama and the Democratic Party took over $700 billion out of Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, which will cost more money as the rate ticks down or even remains as steady as it has been. The amount of Americans who will soon retire and qualify for Medicare was already at an unsustainable level before the passage of ObamaCare, but now, we are in for insolvent levels of national debt. And the kicker, is that millions of Americans will still not have a health insurance plan.