More Blacks Have Health Insurance Because of ACA

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The number of African Americans who lacked health insurance dropped dramatically in 2014's first quarter compared to 2013's fourth quarter thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Republicans threaten to repeal if they win control of both houses of Congress in November's national elections.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reported on Monday that the uninsured rate for African Americans fell from 20.9 percent in 2013's fourth quarter to 17.6 percent in 2014's first quarter, a drop of 3.3 percentage points.

When Open Enrollment began on October 1, 2013, 6.8 million African Americans lacked health insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Blacks reported the highest drop among ethnic and racial groups. The percentage of uninsured whites declined from 11.9 percent in the fourth quarter to 10.7 percent in the first quarter, a drop of 1.2 percentage points.

As for Hispanics, the percentage of uninsured was 38.7 percent in 2013's fourth quarter compared to 37.0 percent in 2014's first quarter, down 1.7 percentage points.

President Barack Obama announced on April 1 that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health insurance plans through federal and state-run marketplaces by the March 31 deadline.

Gallup-Healthways reported that the overall uninsured rate dipped to 15.6 percent in 2014's first quarter, a decline of 1.5 percentage points compared to 17.1 percent in 2013's fourth quarter.

The overall decline in the uninsured is the lowest since late 2008.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reached its results by conducting more than 43,500 interviews with U.S. adults from Jan. 2, 2014 to March 31, 2014.