Number of uninsured Americans drops to record low

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. coverage / ˈkʌv ər ɪdʒ / (n.) – the list of things that insurance will pay for

    My health insurance coverage includes unlimited checkups.

  2. all-time low / ɔl taɪm loʊ / (idiom) – the lowest ever state, number, or value of something

    When online streaming sites were introduced, our DVD sales experienced an all-time low.

  3. hammer out / ˈhæm ər aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to agree on and finalize a decision or plan after a long discussion

    After a week of negotiating, we finally hammered out the contract details.

  4. credit / ˈkrɛd ɪt / (v.) – to praise or recognize someone’s achievement or good work

    Historians credit Momofuku Ando for the invention of instant ramen.

  5. price break / praɪs breɪk / (n.) – a reduction of price, especially when buying large amounts of something

    Each box is $10 but if you buy 10 or more, you’ll get a price break and pay only $7 each.


Read the text below.

The number of people living in America without health insurance coverage hit an all-time low of 8 percent this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced.

“Every American has the right to the peace of mind that comes with access to affordable, quality health care,” President Joe Biden said in a statement about the record-low rate of uninsured Americans.

The findings come days after Democrats hammered out a 725-page climate, health care and tax deal that would extend generous federal subsidies for people who buy private health insurance that are credited with driving down the uninsured rates. Democrats have proposed spending $64 billion to extend those price breaks for three more years.

The drop in uninsured Americans began last year, when Congress and Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that lowered premiums and out-of-pocket costs for new or returning customers purchasing plans through the Affordable Care Act’s private health insurance markets.

The uninsured rate fell to just under 9 percent last year with the improved subsidies. The Biden administration also began to step up advertising and increased the number of counselors who helped sign up people for plans during the open enrollment season last year.

Prior to last year, the uninsured rate had consistently remained in the double digits for decades. The number of uninsured Americans began dropping after the ACA, which expanded Medicaid and offers health insurance to people who lack job-based coverage through a mix of subsidized private plans, was enacted in 2010.

Roughly 26 million people remain without health insurance in the U.S. Just under 2 percent of children are now uninsured.

“We know that access to quality, affordable health care is key to healthier lives, economic security, and peace of mind,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The uninsured rate in the U.S. fell to just under 9 percent last year with the improved subsidies that Biden’s administration hammered out. Do you think giving health insurance is the responsibility of the government? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, does your country have good health insurance? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that the key to healthier lives and economic security is access to quality and affordable health care. In your opinion, what other things can contribute to healthier lives (ex. work-life balance, access to good public spaces)? Discuss.
  • Becerra also said that access to quality and affordable health care leads to peace of mind. How important is having peace of mind to your daily life? What are some things that give you peace of mind? Discuss.