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For the second month in a row, Gallup polling shows that the number of people reporting they are uninsured is decreasing. In fact, this report, for the end of January and beginning of February, shows the lowest rate of uninsured people in five years, down to 16 percent.
Chart showing rate of uninsurance since January 2009, showing that the current rate of 16 percent is the lowest in five years.
Gallup notes that this can't yet be attributable to Obamacare, because these rates, or how they show up in polling, tend to go up and down.
The uninsured rate also dropped to the low-16% range in late 2012 before rising again in 2013, suggesting that there may be inherent variability in the rate or random fluctuation due to sampling error. Still, if the uninsured rate continues to fall over the next several months, it may suggest that the Affordable Care Act's requirement for most Americans to have health insurance, which took effect on Jan. 1, is responsible for the decline.
Additionally, Sarah Kliff finds what might be a couple of telling data points to suggest Obamacare could be making a difference. There were upticks in people reporting they had received insurance through Medicaid (from 6.6 to 7.4 percent) or the individual market (17.2 to 18 percent) since the last quarter. Those purchasing on the individual market would likely be using the exchanges. That's the kind of trend you'd expect to see from new enrollments because of the law.

It's also the kind of trend that strikes fear in the heart of Republicans. If this keeps up, they'll never be able to repeal the law and take that health insurance away.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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