The Census Bureau published its new annual report this morning, and for the first time in a long while, the news wasn't bad. We learned, for example, that the U.S. poverty rate saw a slight decline, after several years of increases.
Of particular interest, though, was the report's data on Americans without health insurance. For the first time in three years, the percentage of the public with coverage went up, not down, going from 83.7% to 84.3%.
As Jonathan Cohn explained, there's no great mystery as to how this happened -- the Affordable Care Act is making a positive difference, before it's even fully implemented.
[W]hat explains the shift? The breakdown by age offers some clues. Relative to last year, the percentage of young adults with health insurance rose by 2.2 percent. That was the largest increase of any group. And it was the second year in a row that coverage among young adults increased. Overall, according to Census officials, the percentage of young Americans has gone up by about 4 percent during that span. [...]
So more young people are getting insurance through their parents' policies. Other people are getting insurance through Medicaid, a government insurance program that Obamcare expands. As a result, fewer Americans are facing crippling medical bills and going without recommended medical care. Critics predicted that insurers would respond to the new regulations by jacking up premiums, making insurance less available. So far, at least, it hasn't happened.
Yeah, that health care law was a terrible idea.
That last part was sarcasm.
Let's also note that this percentage will continue to grow considerably if the president wins a second term, and just as importantly, the coverage itself will be more stable and secure thanks to the law's consumer protections and benefits (the elimination of lifetime and annual caps, for example).
I know the right doesn't want to hear this, and Republicans don't want to believe this, but "Obamacare" is working.