As any conservative can tell you, Obamacare is a job-killing “train wreck.” Not only is it a job killer, there is no way that it could possibly work. Except, of course, it does.
When I last visited this issue, the percentage of adults without health insurance had fallen from its peak of 18.0% in the third quarter of 2013 to 13.4% in the second quarter of 2014. Now, as Gallup (via Matt Yglesias) shows us, it continues to fall, dropping to 11.9% in the first quarter of 2015, based on over 43,000 interviews throughout the quarter. This is a drop of exactly one percentage point from the fourth quarter of 2014, or about 2.4 million adults.
The gains that we have seen now through two enrollment cycles (Q4 2013 through Q1 2015) affect every major demographic group, as the following table from Gallup shows.
Especially notable are the gains for minorities (8.3 percentage points for Hispanics and 7.3 for African-Americans), those with income below $36,000 per year (8.7 points) and adults from 26-34 (7.4 points). But notice that even Americans making over $90,000 annually have seen their uninsured rate fall by 2.3 points, meaning that 40% of this group is no longer uninsured. This is actually the biggest percentage gain among any of the demographics Gallup surveyed.
As Gallup and Yglesias both point out, part of the reason for the improvement is the declining unemployment rate. But Yglesias is right on the money that this undermines the “job-killer” meme. In fact, as he shows, 2014 was “the best year of job creation since 1999.”
This is one argument conservatives aren’t going to win. In fact, it looks like they’ve already lost the vote of one Tea Partier who was able to retire early because of Obamacare.
Cross-posted from Middle Class Political Economist.