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More uninsured Americans plan to get coverage through Obamacare: poll

English.news.cn   2014-01-31 05:43:24

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans who plan to get insurance through a healthcare exchange - the centerpiece of the new healthcare law - has increased, a Gallup poll released Thursday has found.

The poll found that 56 percent of uninsured Americans planning to get insurance said they will do so through a government healthcare exchange - the centerpiece of U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, or Obamacare - with that figure steadily swinging up since Gallup began tracking uninsured Americans in October.

The poll came amid worries that too few Americans will sign up for insurance through healthcare.gov, which has seen myriad technical glitches since its Oct. 1 launch, and has been billed by experts as easy pickings for hackers.

Indeed, many visitors to the site, which provides healthcare plans for those who sign up, have been prevented from completing enrollment due to technical problems, although the Obama administration said those issues are being worked out.

One possible reason for the exchange's growing popularity is improvements to the site to correct numerous technical problems. Another reason may be that some Americans now may have fewer choices as to where they can purchase insurance, Gallup said.

Indeed, insurance providers, according to U.S. media, have dropped at least 4 million Americans in recent months as their plans did not meet Obamacare's stringent requirements.

For Obamacare to work, insurance providers said they need an adequate number of young, healthy enrollees to offset the costs of older, sicker individuals who may use medical services more frequently and for more serious illnesses.

Gallup said a small but notable drop in January in the percentage of uninsured Americans is a positive sign that Obamacare is making progress toward its goal of getting more people healthcare coverage.

Still, the trend represents only a marginal improvement, and it may be difficult to convince the remaining population of uninsured Americans to get covered in the months ahead, Gallup said.

Many may opt to pay the fine - those who are not covered will have to pay a tax - which may in some cases be cheaper than purchasing insurance.

Currently, 53 percent of all uninsured Americans say they plan to get insurance, while 38 percent say they are more likely to pay the government's fine for those who fail to purchase coverage, Gallup found.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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