The Uninsured and the Affordable Care Act (ACA/"ObamaCare")
The Census data shown in the coverage chart above tells us that most Americans have health insurance coverage, either through our employment or self-purchase or from government-funded health programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and military health care).
Among the nonelderly population, CBO estimates that about 246 million noninstitutionalized residents of the US will have health insurance in any given month in 2017. That still leaves about 27 million people who will be uninsured, but that figure declined dramatically with the ACA and its expansion of Medicaid coverage and system of mandates and subsidies for health insurance purchases (see chart).
In the ongoing debates over what to do about the ACA, it is important to recognize that expanded coverage comes at a price: 1) the mandates for participation ensure that there are enough people in the health insurance "risk pools" to keep costs for overall participants as low as possible, and 2)the taxes and fees provide revenue to offset the cost of providing coverage to more people.
All of us need to understand and weigh the benefits and costs of the ACA, to consider these in the context of how the government has long subsidized our health care in exchange for the taxes we contribute, and to bring our informed perspectives into the current policy debate.