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Uninsured Rate Shows Historic Drop, CDC Study Finds

By Erin Mershon, CQ Roll Call

May 17, 2016 -- The nation's uninsured rate fell below 10 percent for the first time in history last year, according to survey results published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The new figures, showing a 9.1 percent uninsured rate, are the latest to underscore the gains of the 2010 federal health overhaul. Before that law took effect, about 14.4 percent of Americans lacked health insurance, according to the same survey data.

The study shows some 28.6 million Americans still go without insurance, about 16.2 million less than the tally before the law took effect. The Obama administration in February estimated that 20 million people gained coverage because of the overhaul.

Among the insured, 9.1 million people gained private coverage through or the state-based exchanges, the study says. Those gains were slightly steeper among young adults, 18-24, than among older adults, and also slightly steeper among the poor and nearly poor than among wealthier Americans.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell was quick to applaud the new figures.

"Today's report is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act," she said in a statement. "Our country ought to be proud of how far we've come and where we're going."

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