ICYMI, 2014 was not just any old year in health care. The problem isn’t finding historic events to note, it’s pruning the list. Here’s a crack at some things that we at The Commonwealth Fund thought worth calling out.
- Uninsured rate drops: For the first time in modern U.S. history, the uninsurance rate fell precipitously–‒from 20 percent to 15 percent among adults ages 19 to 64 by the end of the first open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. An estimated 10 million fewer Americans were uninsured. The appetite for affordable health insurance was strong enough to get past the flawed rollout of the federal marketplace website. And, based on preliminary figures for the still-open second enrollment period, the uninsured rate seems likely to plunge even further before 2014 recedes into memory.
Don’t expect 2015 to be any more tranquil than 2014. For health care reformers, the old adage of “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. Hang on to your hat, happy holidays, and have a great new year.
Written with David Squires.