Census: Number Of People Without Health Insurance Largely Unchanged In 2012


September 17, 2013 -- The number of people without health insurance remained largely unchanged in 2012, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. The closely-watched census report found that more than 48 million Americans were uninsured during all of 2012, down from 48.6 million 2011. The rate of uninsured dropped to 15.4 percent from 15. 7 percent. Here's the press release and full report.

Here's the latest coverage of the Census data -

The Associated Press: Analysts: 2012 Poverty Rate Basically Unchanged
The Census Bureau reports the number of Americans in poverty stood at 15 percent in 2012. ... The number of people lacking health insurance dipped from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent. ... Main provisions of the new health law don't take effect until 2014 (Yen, 9/17).

USA Today: Census: Household Incomes Holding Steady
Last year marked the second consecutive year that neither the official poverty rate nor the number of people living in poverty were statistically different from the previous year's estimates. ... But the number of people without coverage — 48 million — was also little changed from the 2011's estimate of 48.6 million (Mullaney, 9/17).

The Washington Post's Wonk Blog: Three Million People Gained Insurance In 2012. Don't Thank Obamacare.
Nearly all of that change appears to be attributable to enrollment in public programs such as Medicaid and Medicaid. Coverage in private health plans, like those that employers purchase, didn't budge. ... The expansion of Medicare coverage ... can be clearly linked to demographics. As a wave of baby boomers hits their 65th birthday, we can expect to see the entitlement program's subscriber base grow. As for the rise in the number of people in Medicaid, Obamacare may have played a small role (Kliff, 9/17).

Bloomberg: U.S. Poverty Remains High as Incomes Stall, Census Says
The Census Bureau data also show the number of Americans who lack health insurance declined to 48 million last year from 48.6 million in 2011, as many under the age of 26 took advantage of a provision in Obama’s 2010 health-care overhaul that allowed them to be covered under their parents’ plans (McCormick, 9/17).

Kaiser Health News: 48 Million Americans Remain Uninsured, Census Bureau Reports
One of the most significant changes was a decline in the rate of uninsured children, from 9.4 percent in 2011 to 8.9 percent, largely related to government efforts to make it easier for children to get coverage. "Uninsurance is already low for children, and the fact that it still appears to be declining is an encouraging sign and shows when there is a concerted public policy focus on a problem it can pay off," said Genevieve Kenney, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Kenney said more kids were being covered under their parents’ workplace policies. In addition, states and the federal government have made it easier to enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and stay enrolled" (Galewitz, 9/17).

The New York Times: Percentage Of Americans Lacking Health Coverage Falls Again
One of the most popular provisions of the 2010 health care law allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26. That provision appears to be having its intended effect. Among people ages 19 to 25, the proportion who were uninsured declined to 27.2 percent in 2012. Though the bureau said that figure was not significantly different from the 2011 rate, it was down from 29.8 percent two years earlier. The proportion of children younger than 19 without health insurance declined last year, to 9.2 percent, from 9.7 percent in 2011 (Pear, 9/17).

New York Daily News The Swamp: Just Like Gun Violence, U.S. Poverty Persists But At Least Health Insurance Up, Says New Census Report
The most notable changes, said the Census data meisters, comes in the insurance area. Those with health insurance rose, as did the percentage of Americans with insurance (now 84.6 percent). The reasons, said Johnson, can be attributed to growth in Medicare and Medicaid rolls. With Medicare, that largely reflects the coming of Baby Boomers into the universe of those eligible for coverage. In an aside, the Census Bureau notes that "the uninsured rate for children in poverty (12.9 percent) was higher than the rate for children not in poverty (7.7 percent)" (Warren, 9/17).  

Reuters: The share of Americans without health insurance coverage - another key indicator economic of well-being - was 15.4 percent in 2012 compared with 15.7 percent in 2011, a change the Census Bureau described as not statistically significant (Humer and Heavey, 9/17).

Politico Pro: Census Sees Slight Dip In US Uninsurance
The rate of private health insurance held steady for the second year in a row after steadily eroding over the past decade. ... Obamacare advocates said the report that millions of Americans — about 48 million — remained uninsured, showed the need to get the law in place (Norman, 9/17).

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