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Uninsured drops three-fold in ACA-friendly states


States expanding Medicaid while also operating their own health insurance exchanges experienced a larger drop in the uninsured rate compared to states that ignored these Affordable Care Act measures, a new Gallup poll shows.

In states supporting the ACA, the uninsured rate dropped by 2.5 percent, Gallup finds. Conversely, states that didn't expand Medicaid and opened an exchange only saw a 0.8 percent decrease in their uninsured rates.

"The states that have embraced it have dropped at a rate that is three times faster than the ones that haven't," Dan Witters, lead researcher for the Gallup poll, told CNBC.

The ACA-friendly states did begin with a lower uninsured rate of 16 percent compared to almost 19 percent for other states. However, since the implementation of the ACA, the gap has widened, growing from 2.6 points to 4.3 points, notes Gallup. 

The larger decline in uninsured among states expanding Medicaid and opening an exchange is likely due to those states allocating more resources for outreach and education to motivate their residents to sign up for coverage, reported The Washington Post.

For example, California funded multiple exchange-related outreach initiatives, including an ad campaign that featured comedians trying to make the healthcare reform law funny as well as recruiting celebrities to promote the state's exchange.

Despite the decline in uninsired rates in states embracing the ACA, a March Commonwealth Fund analysis found 32 million Americans under the age of 65 remain underinsured.

To learn more:
- here's the Gallup poll
- read The Washington Post article
- check out the CNBC article

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