Number of Americans without health insurance falls to record low - but more than one in 10 still don't have it
The percentage of Americans who say they don't have health insurance dropped to 13.4 percent in April, according to Gallup.
The number of uninsured Americans has been steadily dropping since last fall, the polling company said, when a peak 18 percent of Americans said they did not have health care coverage. Gallup reports that number of Americans without health insurance decreased at a faster pace as the federally mandated deadline to purchase insurance arrived.
African-Americans saw the most dramatic increase in health care coverage between the close of 2013, when 20.9 percent told Gallup they did not have coverage and April. Then, only 13.8 percent of blacks polled told Gallup they did not have insurance.
Hispanics continue to say they do not have health insurance at higher rates than other demographic groups. In April, 33.2 percent told Gallup they were uninsured. The percent of Hispanics and Americans making less than $36,000 a year who did not have coverage dropped by 5.5 percent in April, respectively.
Gallup's numbers are consistent with a Health and Human Services report released last Thursday that showed Hispanic enrollment below what it could be and a high rate of enrollment among blacks.
More than 8 million Americans have signed up for health care insurance through the state and federal exchanges, the report said. The Obama administration did not say how many people had signed up for health care, but the number surpasses a previous report of 8 million provided by the president two weeks earlier.
The original deadline to purchase healthcare insurance was March 31.
The Obama administration has extended deadlines multiple times to accommodate Americans having problems with government's Obamacare sign-up site, healthcare.gov, and Americans with pre-existing conditions moving out of the government's temporary high-risk pools and into the general insurance marketplace.
Gallup took its survey of 14,700 Americans from April 1 - 30. The new deadline for average Americans who had already started the sign up process to get covered was April 15.
Some of the people Gallup polled who did not have insurance the first or second week of April may have since finished applying for coverage, potentially bringing the percent of Americans who do not have coverage down further.
Other Americans may be waiting to get coverage until for the provision of Obamacare that requires employers to cover full-time employees to kick in at the start of 2015.
'On the other hand, it is likely that some newly insured Americans will not pay their premiums and will rejoin the ranks of the uninsured,' Gallup notes.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters last week that the White House did not have, 'hard, concrete' numbers on the number of people who had both signed up for Obamacare through the federal health exchange and made their first payment.
A report issued last week by House Republicans estimated that one-third of those enrollees have not paid their premiums. The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations report is based on information provided to the committee by 'all 160 insurance providers in the federally facilitated marketplace.'
The White House disputes the Republican report has not provided evidence to the contrary.