The number of people without health insurance is suddenly spiking

Doctor patient

The percentage of Americans without health insurance rose in the second quarter of 2017, according to a Gallup-Sharecare survey.

The uninsured rate increased to 11.7%, the second quarterly increase in a row after the rate hit a record low of 10.9% in the third and fourth quarters of 2016. The uninsured rate was 11.3% during the first quarter.

Gallup-Sharecare said the rate still well below the peak of 18.0% in 2013 — just before the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance exchanges. But it represents a significant uptick since the end of last year.

“Although the increase in the uninsured rate from the end of 2016 to Gallup’s most recent update is small on a percentage basis (0.8 points), it is statistically significant given the very large sample sizes involved, and translates into nearly 2 million Americans who, apparently, have already dropped out of the insured ranks,” a post from Gallup-Sharecare said.

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The result comes from a survey of more than 45,000 people over the second quarter.

Gallup-Sharecare cited a few possible reasons the uninsured rate could be increasing, such as higher premiums and insurer exits from the Obamacare markets. The post also cited uncertainty in Washington as a possible factor.

“Uncertainty surrounding the healthcare law also may be driving the increase. President Donald Trump’s executive order permitting agencies to waive or delay provisions that ‘impose a fiscal burden’ on individuals, as well as the prospect of a new healthcare law may be causing consumers to question whether the penalty for not having insurance will be enforced,” Gallup-Sharecare said.

Republicans in the Senate are currently debating a law that would repeal major parts of Obamacare.