Uninsured Rate Ticks Up a Bit at End of 2015

Every quarter I take a look at the CDC’s survey of the uninsured to see how Obamacare is doing. So far it’s doing pretty well. However, the CDC data is always six months behind, and a few days ago I noticed that Gallup’s more timely survey showed an increase in the uninsured rate over the last two quarters of 2015. I figured I’d have to wait another month to see if the CDC confirmed this, but their latest data came out earlier than I expected. Sure enough, in the third quarter they show a small increase in the uninsured.

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything trenchant to say about this. The data is a little noisy, and this might be nothing more than the usual bouncing around. Or it might represent a normal uptick at the end of the year, as people lose insurance before the new signup period. It’s probably not really possible to say until we have quite a bit more data. And it’s worth noting that the uninsured rate is still more than a percentage point below the original CBO projection.

But the raw data is the raw data. Good or bad, it’s here for everyone to noodle over.