The Centers for Disease Control announced that uninsurance is now at 8.6 percent, down from 16 percent when Obamacare passed. The relevant news release is here.
This is an extraordinary victory for Obama, the Democrats, and progressives everywhere. Now is the time to make that Zero and that won't be impossible if the Dems win in November. We don't have to have a pure "single payer" to reduce the uninsurance rate to close to Zero, and we can do it without abolishing private insurance. It won't be perfect but health policy in the U.S. is really shot-through with "concessions" to physicians groups, hospitals, the long-term care industry, and the whole nine yards.
What we now should do, with a Clinton victory, is to provide both the "public option" (or the option to voluntarily join Medicare), and also, using Medicare as the central 'player' to start setting limits on the prices charged for pharmaceuticals. And we should figure out a way to keep states from cheating their residents out of Medicaid to satisfy the bigots and purists who believe that government should not be used to help people, especially Hispanics and blacks, but instead help providers and the pharmaceutical industry, and so forth.
Again, this depends on Clinton's victory and on whether she has not already made some private commitments to the affected industries to not go "too far". And as always, we should remember that the health care industry lobby never sleeps and Democrats may start trying to find ways to "modify" the trend so that generous campaign contributions come their way.
Obamacare had been called a huge failure by the GOP. The Majority Leader proclaimed it is the worst legislation ever passed. Right.
Still, the GOP will find a way to spin the wonderful news of policy progress under Obama.
On a personal note I once addressed the Winter Meeting of the AMA in Florida in order to outline New York's proposed universal health care plans. The audience went nuts, protesting, and afterwards, my host, a progressive physician, said to me as I was entering the elevator, "Medicare made us rich!"