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Arkansas, Kentucky see biggest drops in uninsured rate

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Arkansas and Kentucky have seen their rates of uninsured residents drop the most since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate went into effect at the beginning of the year, Gallup said Tuesday.

The rate of uninsured in Arkansas dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent in 2014, and the rate of uninsured fell from 20.4 percent to 11.9 percent in Kentucky.

Delaware, Washington and Colorado rounded out the top five with the sharpest declines in uninsured rates.

All 10 states that report the largest declines in uninsured rates expanded Medicaid and established a state-based exchange or state-federal partnership, Gallup reported, signaling key factors to success.

“The uninsured rate in the states that have chosen to expand Medicaid and set up their own state exchange in the health insurance marketplace has declined significantly more in the first half of 2014 than in the remaining states that have not done so,” Gallup researchers wrote. “The uninsured rate declined 4 points in the 21 states that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 2.2-point drop across the 29 states that have implemented only one or neither of these actions.”

The national uninsured rate is at 13.4 percent, the lowest quarterly rate in more than six years of Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index trending.

Despite the drop in the uninsured, public opposition to PPACA remains high. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, out last week, found that negative public opinion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has abruptly hit an all-time high, ending months of continued support and gradual increases in positive opinion of the law.


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