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air max 1 Poll suggests rate of uninsured Americans dropped among all groups; Gallup credits Obamacare

The number of Americans without health insurance declined slightly in the first three months of the year, reaching the lowest point of President Barack Obama s administration, a released Monday suggests.

The survey of 43,500 adults, conducted between Jan. 2 to March 31, indicates that the uninsured rate fell during the first quarter of 2014 from 17.1 percent to 15.6 percent. The rate has been falling since the third quarter for 2013, when it hit a record high of 18 percent.

Gallup called it a sign that a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage. Even within this year s first quarter, the uninsured rate fell consistently, from 16.2 percent in January to 15.6 percent in February to 15.0 percent in March. And within March, the rate dropped more than a point, from 15.8 percent in the first half of the month to 14.7 percent in the second half indicating that enrollment through the health care exchanges increased as the March 31 deadline approached.

The law mandated that most Americans obtain health insurance by the end of last month or risk a financial penalty, although the Obama administration created a grace period and is giving people until April 15 to complete an application. The law also provides for subsidies to help people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty line buy insurance.

The law also provides money to expand the Medicaid program for low-income Americans, but Alabama and about half of the states have declined offer.

While the poll did not record a giant drop in the uninsured rate, it shows a broad reduction. All races, income groups and age groups posted gains, with blacks and households earning less than ,000 a year benefiting the most. The uninsured rate dropped by 3.3 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, among those categories.

Obama announced last week that 7.1 million people had enrolled in insurance through government-run exchanges, although The , placing the true figure between 5.5 million and 6 million people. And some of questioned just how many uninsured people are buying policies on the exchanges, with indications that many of them are folks who previously had insurance.

Gallup noted that it is impossible to say, also, how many new Medicaid recipients previously had insurance.

But the survey suggests that the county has experienced and overall net drop in the number of uninsured and that the rate continues to drop.

Regardless, the decline in the percentage of uninsured over the course of the first quarter almost certainly includes the effects of expanded Medicaid eligibility policies, Gallup wrote. It is also likely, in turn, that not all new enrollees will ultimately pay their insurance premiums, which would result in a subsequent change in status from insured to uninsured at some point later in 2014.

Gallup said it would continue to monitor the uninsured rate.

A federal report claims that allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior were determined to be unfounded, when prisoners failed or refused to submit to lie-detector tests.

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