48 million Americans still lack health insurance

Among them are one-quarter of the poor, but Obamacare could bring relief to 14 million people with no coverage today.

By Aimee Picchi Sep 18, 2013 1:17PM

Image: Elderly man with arm in a plaster cast (© Tobias Titz/fStop/Getty Images)The Affordable Care Act, whether you hate it or love it, may make its biggest impact on a sizable group of Americans: the 48 million who had no health insurance in 2012. 

Roughly 15.4% of Americans lacked coverage last year, down a tick from 15.7% in 2011, according to a new study from the Census Bureau, which adds that the number of people without health insurance wasn't "statistically different" from the previous year.

The poor were even worse off. A whopping one-quarter of those earning less than $25,000 annually also lack health insurance, the study found. Among households with income of $75,000 or more, that dropped to just 7.9%. 

With most of Obamacare going into full effect in January, the law will likely provide health coverage to 14 million currently uninsured Americans, according to a study from the Congressional Budget Office.

That's because the law bars insurers from banning people with chronic health conditions, which can currently hamper some older and sicker people from finding coverage. The ACA will also extend Medicaid, providing insurance to more low-income families and individuals, although currently about 21 states are rebelling against that part of the legislation.

But even as the state health insurance exchanges prepare to enroll customers next month, the law remains unpopular with many of Americans. 

About 42% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the ACA, compared with only 37% holding a positive view, according to an August poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Many also continue to be confused about the law. Four out of 10 people are unaware of the ACA's current status, and some people wrongly believe that Obamacare has been repealed, the study found. 

That confusion has carried over to senior citizens. More than half in that group wrongly attribute the rise in their medication costs to Obamacare, Bloomberg reports. Because of that, many seniors are cutting back spending on food, travel and other health care, worried about costs rising further when the law goes into effect in January. The report cited a survey from Express Scripts (ESRX). 

Seniors, though, qualify for Medicare, which has provided health care coverage to the elderly for more than 40 years and isn't changing significantly under Obamacare. Instead, the law will have its biggest impact on working-age adults.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi

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Sep 18, 2013 1:48PM
Coverage for 14 million more people, at the taxpayer expense, and yet somehow this will cost less?  Everything the gov gets involved in gets more expensive.  To think that somehow healthcare will be the exception is naive, at best.
Sep 18, 2013 2:51PM

34 million still uninsured NOT paying into the system.


thats 34 million using hospitals but not paying.  how is that supposed to lower costs again? 


how is that supposed to lower the deficit?

Sep 18, 2013 11:24PM

Help me understand this mess.  The main premise of Obamacare is to use the premiums of young, healthy people to subsidize the health care of older, sicker people.  How is that going to happen when young people under 26 years of age are still on mommy and daddy's coverage?  How is that supposed to work when the unemployment rate among millenials is in double digits?  How is that supposed to work when instead of paying $3000 or more for insurance, they can pay a fine of $95 or, one percent of their gross annual income instead?  With all of the exemptions given to various "core constituencies", including congress, as well as those in the works for big labor, along with the delay of the employer mandate, WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS CRAP?  Anybody need some Preparation H or, KY Jelly?  Better hope Obamacare will cover the reaming you're about to get! 

Sep 19, 2013 12:56AM
Where do these people get their figures. 42% have an unfavorable view of ACA. The last time I checked the figure was 56% of the Americans have an unfavorable view of ACA.Did anyone notice how the article goes from absolute figures to percentages and then switches back. First it's 48 million Americans,which is 14% of the population. Next it 15.7% when they just indicated it was 14% of population.The real question should be is why are 100% of the population having to go along with ACa when only 14% need insurance? Wouldn't it have been more palatable to find a way to just insure them,not everyone in America?Of course,then the Dims couldn't control 1/6 of the economy.
Sep 18, 2013 7:07PM
It was only 30 million before Obama Care. Health insurance costs have gone up, and benifits have gone down.
Sep 18, 2013 2:41PM

Though it's often said that decisions shouldn't be made on calculated intellectual reason alone, that one should invoke heart, compassion, and conscience as well, is it not equally as true that all heart/no brain decisions can be equally as ill-advised?


Aimee, while reason and logic aren't "everything", they're not "nothing" neither.


When voters' heart strings are left wide open and the critical thinking faculties are impeded, we are susceptible to being led, not merely against our will, but without an active use of our own individual will at all, but the will of a few social engineers plotting high up in towers of tyranny ...or D.C. these days.  


Aimee:  Bought, paid for, and in Obama's pocket. 



Sep 19, 2013 1:03AM
For all of you young people out there, you are suppose the biggest payer initially. If you don't get insurance you have to pay a 1% of gross income in penalties If you buy insurance, you will pay 10% of your gross income. Here is a way around this mess. Don't get insurance until you have a major medical issues that requires hospital attention. If you are hospitalized, they can't refuse you. Then go out and get an insurance policy and use it to pay your hospital bill. They can't keep you from getting insurance because of the prior condition policy of the ACT. Then submit your claim to your insurance and you will have insurance, save money initially on insurance fees and if anything happens you will still be covered.
Sep 19, 2013 9:29AM
I would like to ask the question as to why care is so expensive that we need insurance for anything other than catastrophic illness or injury?
Sep 18, 2013 2:45PM

but wait aimee, that still leaves 34 million uninsured.


but i thought obamacare was to insure every american aimee?


why wont the other 34 million have it aimee?


aimee you suck @ss.  please go away

Sep 19, 2013 12:41AM

Somebody has got to pay for all you pill popping hypochondriacs

Health care for profit system in america. Everybody is in it to make money.

Unaffordable heath care, unaffordable education, unaffordable housing

The common denominator is government money is evolved and drives up cost.

There all making huge profits robbing taxpayers and putting this country in the hole.



Sep 18, 2013 3:23PM
Aimee posting her talking points of the day.
Sep 19, 2013 12:57AM
Try and vision these numbers. Medacre ,the frst year spent 86 million. Now it takes tens of billions to run.
Sep 18, 2013 9:15PM
Sep 18, 2013 3:56PM

and.......................if people can't afford a cell phone, ask uncle sam.

and.......................if people can't afford a good meal, food stamps from uncle sam.

and.......................if people can't afford their gas and electric bills, energy assistance

and.......................the list goes on and on.

After all, how can a person afford healthcare or a phone or food....if one has to pay for their new car or cable bill with all the bells and whistles. And the list goes on. The problem is most people want the good things in life and figure uncle sam will pay for the essential things in life.


Sep 18, 2013 2:45PM



Aimee picchi sucked off bloomberg

Sep 19, 2013 6:37AM
The ''LORD'' himself could NOT make Obamacare- - ''the lie of the century''- - - WORK- - -but then again the LIBERALS  would call that statement- - RACIST! ! ! UTOPOIA- - - - ahhhh it has finally ARRIVED- - - and just ''yesterday''- - Warren Buffet,  Obama Buddy, famous for the Buffet Rule, ''the GURU''- - - said OBAMACARE- - -will bankrupt the country and must be stopped! But, what does ''he'' know! ! ! ! HMMMMM.
Redistribution of wealth.  Take it away from the working class and give it to the non working (but Democrat voting) class.   Can't wait for November 2014.
Sep 19, 2013 7:17AM
who's really being asked to do the leaning forward if not the middle class? and in the case of obamacare, they're not even being asked. they're being told.
Sep 19, 2013 1:14PM

1.  It is NOT affordable; and the plans people do have are going to increase. 


Aimee Picchi, the writer of this - and other articles about ACA - obamacare - makes it sound far better than it really is going to be.  The public school teachers in our small rural town have already seen the price hikes - and in the case of family policies - carrying dependents - it is a huge jump.  Individual policy increases from $227 to $326.  Family policies increase from $1000 to $1500 (these are monthly costs).  Hold on, folk; this ride is going to be ugly - before they finally turn it into a single payer entity.

Sep 19, 2013 11:23AM
keep leaning mr and mrs middle class. you're not leaning hard enough. oh and to make sure you keep up at it they have another 15,000 irs agents to make sure you do.
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