October 9 2014
While Gallup says a new poll indicates what it sees as a positive sign about the Affordable Care Act, a health policy expert with the Independent Women's Forum is concerned by another not-so-positive finding in that same poll.
According to Gallup, the uninsured rate in the U.S. holds at 13.4 percent. Gallup says that poll reveals ObamaCare "appears to be meeting its goal of reducing the percentage of Americans without health insurance." It backs up that claim by noting the average uninsured rate in the last quarter of 2013 was 17.1 percent – a drop of 3.7 percentage points.
But Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, doesn't think that's the real story with this poll.
"The plurality of Americans still get their health insurance through a current or former employer," she points out to OneNewsNow. According to the poll, the percentage of adults who obtain their health insurance through a current or former employer has remained relatively unchanged since Aug-Sep 2013, when it was 44.4 percent. The Gallup poll indicates it stands at 43.3 percent in the third quarter of 2014.
"The reason that is important," Manning continues, "is because that is the area of the health insurance market [where] we should expect to see the most turbulence in the next couple of years as the employer mandates in the law finally become enforced."
Beginning January 1, 2015, large firms that don't offer health plans face a possible tax penalty. "Medium-sized" firms have until 2016 to comply.
"Many people who maybe consider themselves not affected yet or affected in a minor way could be affected in a major way as employers have to change their insurance plans to be compliant with the mandates as they apply to employer-sponsored plans," Manning explains.