By Andrea Orr
The new health reform law approved by Congress and signed by President Obama earlier this week will significantly boost the percentage of Americans who have health insurance. The Figure uses data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to show the increase in the share of the population that will have health insurance as the reform goes into effect. The data exclude people age 65 and over who are covered under Medicare:
Without health reform, the portion of non-elderly Americans with health insurance was projected to remain basically unchanged at about 81% through 2019. That translates to about 50 million uninsured Americans this year: a number that would gradually increase as the population grows, to 54 million in 2019. Under the new law, the portion of Americans with health insurance coverage will rise to 92% by the year 2016 and remain steady at that level in future years. As a result, the number of Americans with no health insurance will fall from 50 million today, to about 23 million in 2019, even as the population grows. The new health reform law expands coverage in a number of ways, including subsidies for low-income Americans and tax credits for small businesses.