RAND’s Health Reform Opinion Study (HROS), a survey conducted using the RAND American Life Panel, allows us to estimate how many people have become enrolled in all sources of health care coverage since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The analysis presented here examines changes in health insurance enrollment between September 2013 and March 2014; overall, we estimate that 9.3 million more people had health care coverage in March 2014, lowering the unin- sured rate from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent. This increase in coverage is driven not only by enrollment in health insurance marketplace plans, but also by gains in employer-sponsored insurance and Medicaid. Enrollment in employer-sponsored insurance plans increased by 8.2 million and Medicaid enroll- ment increased by 5.9 million, although some individuals did lose insurance. We also found that 3.9 million people are now covered through the state and federal marketplace—the so- called insurance exchanges—and less than 1 million people who previously had individual-market insurance became unin- sured during the period in question. While the survey cannot tell if the people in this latter group lost their insurance due to cancellation or because they simply felt the cost was too high, the overall number is very small, representing less than 1 per- cent of people between the ages of 18 and 64.This news brought tears to my eyes. I went without insurance for 10 years after being dropped by Farmers Insurance after my divorce. They told me that it was 'normal' for the wife to be taken off the policy after a split. (Lucky for them, I was not an activist at the time.) What I soon realized is that no insurance company would cover me due to preexisting illnesses. People cannot truly imagine what it's like to live without insurance, unless they have personally gone through it.
So many things that were wrong - have been made right by Obamacare. So much fear has been alleviated. People like myself, for years, wondered if medical costs would send them into bankruptcy. I was fortunate. I held on to my house and eventually recovered. But many of the uninsured lost everything, and more sadly, some died. They died not seeking the medial attention they desperately needed. Some feared the medical costs would put their families on the streets. So the took a chance that they might get better. They did not go to the doctors or to ER and now their children are motherless/fatherless due to America's antiquated healthcare system. This will not happen anymore. For many, Obamacare is the closest thing to a life-saving miracle.
I know I join millions in gratitude to President Obama and all who fought so hard to bring Obamacare/ACA into fruition.