US Cities Where the Fewest Residents Lack Health Insurance

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At some point in the campaigning for national office this year, the subject of health insurance has to raise its head. After all, the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) is perhaps the signature piece of legacy legislation in President Obama’s nearly completed two terms in the White House.

Opponents have tried dozens of times to repeal Obamacare with no success. That does not mean that the insurance program is wildly popular, however. Insurance companies are cancelling offerings in many locations and premiums have risen significantly since the first year of the program.

On the plus side, there were two goals set for Obamacare: first was to reduce the number of Americans who did not have health insurance, and the second was to reduce the overall cost (as a percentage of GDP) of health care spending in the United States. The national uninsured rate dropped below 10% in 2016 as more than 17.6 million Americans have gotten insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

According to estimates from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Americans’ spending on health care in 2016 is estimated at 18.1% of GDP, compared with a pre-Obamacare estimate of 19.3% by this year. That’s a savings of more than $220 billion.

To find the cities where the uninsured rates are lowest, researchers at WalletHub looked at data for 548 U.S. cities using 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Absolute differences in the data refer to the difference between their uninsured rates in 2010 and 2015. Some cities, like those in Massachusetts that already had a state program similar to Obamacare, may show smaller differences between 2010 and 2015, but still have a low overall number of uninsured residents.

The 10 large cities (that is, those with a population greater than 300,000) with the lowest percentage of uninsured residents are:

  1. Boston, Massachusetts
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Louisville, Kentucky
  7. San Jose, California
  8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  9. Portland, Oregon
  10. Sacramento, California

The 10 midsize cities (100,000 to 300,000 in population) with the lowest percentage of uninsured residents are:

  1. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  2. Naperville, Illinois
  3. Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  4. Fremont, California
  5. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  6. Worcester, Massachusetts
  7. The Woodlands, Texas
  8. Elk Grove, California
  9. Centennial, Colorado
  10. Carlsbad, California

The 10 small cities (less than 100,000 in population) with the lowest percentage of uninsured residents are:

  1. Pleasanton, California
  2. Newton, Massachusetts
  3. Fishers, Indiana
  4. Quincy, Massachusetts
  5. Milpitas, California
  6. Alameda, California
  7. Waldorf, Maryland
  8. Duluth, Minnesota
  9. Troy, Michigan
  10. Livonia, Michigan

Full rankings and methodology are available at the WalletHub website.

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