Last year, 8.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance. Three years earlier, that figure was 14.5 percent, meaning that the rate dropped by 5.9 percentage points over the period that the Affordable Care Act went into effect, a 40 percent decline from the 2013 figure. In real terms, that’s about 19 million fewer people lacking health insurance, per estimates released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.
There’s a big split, though, between those states that took advantage of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and those that didn’t. On average, states that expanded Medicaid at the outset now have an uninsured rate of about 6.1 percent, a decline of 5.9 percentage points since 2013. In those states that never expanded Medicaid, more than 10 percent of the population lacks insurance on average, and the decline since 2013 is a more modest 4.6 percent.
That overview having been duly noted, the patterns on a state-by-state basis are fascinating. Below, the change from 2013 to 2016 in every state, with a number of other factors indicated: the national rate of change, whether the state expanded Medicaid (and if so, when) and how the state voted in 2016 (which often correlates to the expansion question). Some thoughts after all the graphs.