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16 million Americans gain health coverage thanks to Obamacare

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The number of Americans without health insurance has dropped by 16.4 million since key portions of the Affordable Care Act took effect, the largest reduction in uninsured in four decades, officials announced Monday.

The federal government hailed the data as President Barack Obama’s administration prepared to commemorate next week the fifth anniversary of the signing of a law that took effect with many technical issues.

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“When it comes to the key metrics of affordability, access, and quality, the evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act is working, and families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.

She said 14.1 million adults gained insurance since the first open enrolment period in October 2013 through March 4 of this year, leading the adult uninsured rate to drop from 20.3 percent to 13.2 percent during that period.

Under the law’s more popular provisions, another 2.3 million young adults gained coverage from 2010 by being allowed to remain on a parent’s plan until age 26.

The program, known by many simply as “Obamacare,” seeks to make health coverage available to a broad cross-section of Americans, for whom health care is often too expensive, is not offered through their employer, or is otherwise inaccessible.

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It also provided an expansion of Medicaid, the social health care program for the poor, which most of the 50 US states accepted.

American pollster Gallup cites different figures for the rate drop. It said the US uninsured rate dipped from 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 12.3 percent by the end of February 2015, quoting its Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index.

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The government’s announcement comes as the US Supreme Court weighs the fate of the Affordable Care Act, in a case that challenges the legality of the law’s subsidies.

The narrow question before the court is whether some seven million people who signed up for Obamacare via the government’s website are actually entitled to tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable.

Legal scholars say that a ruling against the tax credits provision would gut the law so thoroughly that it would be tantamount to striking down the measure altogether.

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A decision by the high court is expected in June.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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NYPD finally fires cop who killed Eric Garner

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The New York Police Department announced on Monday that it was firing Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who killed Eric Garner by placing him in a choke hold in 2014.

James O'Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, made the announcement of Pantaleo's firing during a Monday afternoon press conference in which he recounted the actions taken by the former NYPD officer five years ago.

Although O'Neill did not believe that Pantaleo intended to grievously harm Garner while he was resisting arrest, he said that there was no reason for the officer to continue keeping Garner in a choke hold while he was on the ground and complaining that he was having difficulty breathing.

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Fox News contributor: Criminal justice reform not needed because ‘it’s the least racist system in the country’

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy insisted on Monday that the U.S. criminal justice system is the "least racist system we have in the country."

McCarthy made the remarks during a Fox News segment about justice reform proposals from Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders to curb incarceration rates and root out institutional racism.

"It's a funny thing, I worked in the justice system for a long time," McCarthy said. "I think it's the least racist system that we have in the country, if that's possible."

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Trump goes berserk on Twitter as he lashes out at his own Fed chair and then attacks ‘selfish’ Democrats

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President Donald Trump just declared war on the man he personally picked to head the Federal Reserve. The President is furious that one in three economists are predicting recession by the end of the year, and many believe the U.S. will plunge into a recession within the next 6 to 12 months.

At the top of the list of causes for the Trump recession is the president’s trade war with China, which he said a year ago was easy to win.

When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!

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