+
upworthy
Health

The percentage of Americans without healthcare coverage has hit an all-time low

The uninsured rate has been cut in half since 2010.

health insurance, affordable care act, medicaid
Photo via -ted/Flickr

The health insurance reform bus tour, 2009.

At a time when it can feel like America's most pressing problems aren’t being addressed, there’s some very good news on the healthcare front that everyone should know. The percentage of Americans who are uninsured has hit the lowest point in American history.

A report from the Office of Health Policy earlier this year announced that the uninsured rate hit an all-time low of 8% in the first quarter of 2022. To give some perspective, in 2010, before the Affordable Care Act (ACAalso known as Obamacare) had been fully implemented, the uninsured rate was twice as high at 16%.


To add to the drop in the number of uninsured, more Americans have purchased health insurance during the recent Open Enrollment Period through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces than ever before.

“The historic 13.6 million people who have enrolled in a health insurance plan so far this period shows that the demand and need for affordable health care remains high,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

A major reason for the increase in healthcare coverage has been the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced marketplace subsidies, state Medicaid expansions and an increase in enrollment outreach by the current administration.

Health insurance

The uninsured rate has dropped since the ACA passed.

via Office of Health Policy

Approximately 5.2 million Americans have gained health coverage since 2020. The new numbers were cause for celebration at the White House.

“From November 1st to December 15th, nearly 11.5 million Americans signed up for insurance on HealthCare.gov—about 1.8 million more people, an 18 percent increase, over the same period last year,” President Biden said in a statement. “That’s an all-time record, with enrollment still open and not counting people who have signed up for coverage through their state marketplaces. Gains like these helped us drive down the uninsured rate to eight percent earlier this year, its lowest level in history.”

Health insurance, doctors

​The ACA has gained popularity in the US.

via Pixabay

The drop in the uninsured rate is a great example of the benefits of smart policy-making in Washington. The ACA wasn’t the most popular piece of legislation when it was passed in 2010. Critics on the right demonized it as a state takeover of healthcare that would result in death panels, sky-high premiums and socialized medicine. Many on the far left thought that the ACA was bad policy because it stopped short of offering full coverage for everyone like Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal.

But over time, the ACA has become a cornerstone in American healthcare policy that has changed the lives of millions. Former President Barack Obama knew it wasn’t perfect when it was passed, but he saw it as a strong foundation to build on. Now his Democratic predecessor has done just that and we’re seeing the results.

The American public has developed a much more favorable view of the ACA since the GOP’s 2017 crusade to “repeal and replace” the bill that failed in Congress. Now, 55% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the bill versus 42% who disapprove.

“I think it’s probably here to stay,” Republican senator John Cornyn recently told NBC News, referring to the ACA.

The numbers for healthcare sign-ups during this Open Enrollment Period are definitely encouraging but things may get even better. This year’s HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment Period has been extended until January 15, 2022

Science

A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park. Here's what it looks like now.

12,000 tons of food waste and 21 years later, this forest looks totally different.


In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

To the men I love, about men who scare me.

I went to get a drink by myself, and I have a message for men everywhere.

Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

For the well-intentioned men in my life.



I got a promotion a few days ago, so I decided to stop for a drink on my way home — just me and my sense of accomplishment.

I ended up alone in the bar, running defense against a bouncer who held my ID hostage while he commented on my ass (among other things) and asked me vaguely threatening questions about my sex life.

Keep ReadingShow less

Our home, from space.

Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”

The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Teenager creates eye-opening videos that shatter stereotypes surrounding autism and girls

"I get that a lot, that because I'm good-looking, nothing can be wrong with me — so I want to show that mental illness is diverse."

via paigelayle / Instagram

The most recent data shows that about one in 68 children in the U.S. are affected by autism and boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is marked by communication and social difficulties, sensory processing issues, and inflexible patterns of behavior. Almost everything that researchers have learned about the disorder is based on data derived from studies of boys.

However, researchers are starting to learn that ASD manifests differently in girls. This has led many girls to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Jess Martini / Tik Tok

There are few things as frightening to a parent than losing your child in a crowded place like a shopping mall, zoo, or stadium. The moment you realize your child is missing, it's impossible not to consider the terrifying idea they may have been kidnapped.

A woman in New Zealand recently lost her son in a Kmart but was able to locate him because of a potentially life-saving parenting hack she saw on TikTok a few months ago.

The woman was shopping at the retailer when she realized her two-year-old son Nathan was missing. She immediately told a friend to alert the staff to ensure he didn't leave through the store's front exit.

Keep ReadingShow less

Teacher runs toward what she thought was a fight in her classroom.

It's been said countless times, but teachers really are the best and bravest of us all. Anyone who has spent time surrounded by kids, trying to help them learn while managing the countless crises that can occur when hundreds of immature humans are put together in one place, knows that teaching encompasses so much more than just academic instruction. Teachers serve as mentors, counselors, nurses, mediators and sometimes even security guards.

That's why a middle school teacher who thought there was a fight happening in her classroom ran full speed toward it—in a dress and heels, no less.

A TikTok video shared by @lilythern shows a teacher sprinting down a school hallway with an overlay of text that reads, "This middle school teacher thought she was running to break up a fight." As she runs into the classroom, she sees a couple of dozen students gathered in a tight circle and shouting. The teacher immediately starts pushing her way through the outside of the circle, yelling, "Hey! Break it up! Break it up!"

But there is no breaking up to be had. In fact, what she finds is the exact opposite.

Keep ReadingShow less