INSTITUTE INDEX: Uninsured rates are climbing again in the South

People lined up to seek care at this Remote Area Medical clinic in rural Virginia in 2014. The nonprofit provides free health care to people without insurance, whose numbers are climbing again as the Affordable Care Act comes under political attack. (Photo courtesy of RAM.)

Percent of U.S. adults who were uninsured in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a new survey by Gallup: 13.7

The highest the percent uninsured rate for U.S. adults reached before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014: 18

Low point the uninsured rate reached in 2016, after the ACA was in full effect: 10.9

With conservative political attacks chipping away at the ACA, net increase in the number of uninsured adults since then: about 7 million

Rank of the South among U.S. regions that have historically had the highest rates of uninsured adults: 1

Current percent uninsured rate for adults in the South, according to Gallup: 19.6

Percentage-point increase that represents over the lowest levels achieved under full ACA implementation: 3.8

Of the 10 states that saw the greatest post-ACA reduction in their uninsured rates, number that had expanded Medicaid under the ACA to cover more working poor: 10

Number of states that, along with the District of Columbia, have expanded Medicaid under the law: 36

Number of the Medicaid expansion states that are in the South: 5*

Of the six states that reported the greatest decline in uninsured residents after ACA took effect, number in the South: 3**

Month in which a conservative federal judge in Texas, in a case brought by 19 Republican state attorneys general, ruled the ACA unconstitutional because Congress ended the law's individual mandate requiring everyone to either purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty, though the ACA remains in effect for now pending appeal: 12/2018

Date on which a coalition of 16 states with Democratic attorneys general, along with the District of Columbia, appealed the ruling: 1/3/2019

Number of those Democratic attorneys general who represent Southern states: 3***

* Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia.
** Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
*** Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia.

(Click on figure to go to source.)