We just got more evidence that Obamacare is working exactly as intended

The Census Bureau on Wednesday released estimates of how many Americans had health insurance in 2014 and how that compares to previous years.

Though the Bureau releases annual statistics on health insurance, this year’s data is particularly interesting. 2014 was the first year in which the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the state and federal health insurance exchanges and the expansion of the federal Medicaid program — were fully implemented.

Comparing 2014 to 2013 and other recent years gives us a good first look at how the healthcare law has performed in its main goal of making sure more Americans have health insurance.

By that measure, the law appears to be working. According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which asks respondents in March of each year whether they had health insurance at any time in the previous year, about 13.3% of Americans lacked insurance in 2013.

That percentage dropped nearly three percentage points to 10.4% in 2014. This represents 11.6 million more Americans with health insurance in 2014 than in 2013.

This chart from the report on the new data shows that the uninsured rate — the percentage of Americans without any health insurance — stayed about level from 2008 through 2013, but then dropped dramatically between 2013 and 2014:

The uninsurance rate dropped in every state between 2013 and 2014. States that had relatively high uninsurance rates before the law went into effect, and that adopted the Medicaid expansion (indicated with an * next to the state’s abbreviation), saw the biggest declines in the percentage of residents without insurance:

Actual 2014 uninsurance rates vary widely between the states. Only 3.3% of residents of Massachusetts, where a statewide system of health insurance similar to Obamacare had already existed since 2006, lacked insurance last year. Meanwhile, nearly one in five Texans still remain uninsured — Texas is one of 20 Republican-led states that have refused to expand the federal Medicaid program.

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