The Well-Being Journal

The State of Health Care – President Obama’s Recent JAMA Article

Cameron Bowman

Six years after the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and with President Obama’s second term in office coming to a close, a great deal of scrutiny has been placed on health care trends in the United States under the new law.

To address this topic, President Obama recently released a scholarly article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), notable as the first time a president has published a scholarly work while in office. Reading as part retrospective, part analysis and part call-to-action, the article entitled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” details the impact of the ACA.

Findings and data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index are cited prominently in the article, illustrating the impact that expanded Medicaid coverage and state-based marketplace exchanges have had on lowering uninsured rates.

The results are telling – there is a near doubling in the reduction of uninsured rates in states who had adopted both provisions.


Since 2008, Gallup and Healthways have tracked uninsured rates across the U.S. and the Well-Being Index is considered one of the most authoritative measures on this topic. Our research shows that the adoption of the ACA has had a profound effect on reducing uninsured rates, which have declined 6.1 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, right before the key provision of the Affordable Care Act took effect. As of the 2Q 2015, uninsured rates are at historical lows.


“The substantive analysis presented by President Obama on the impact of the ACA underscores the importance of tracking health and well-being of our citizens on an ongoing basis,” said Mr. Witters. “It is an honor to be cited by the President, and we hope our ongoing well-being research continues to be  leveraged to highlight opportunities for improving population health and our health care system nationwide.”

For additional commentary on the JAMA article, click here.

Learn more about our Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index findings.

Topics: ACA Uninsured Rate

Infographic: More Americans Now Have Health Insurance, New Gallup Data Shows

Madison Agee

New data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® demonstrates that, despite the many hiccups associated with rolling out provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare law has led to a tremendous shift in health insurance coverage. In the third quarter of 2013, 18 percent of Americans were without health insurance; by the first quarter of 2014, that number was down to 13.5 percent, its lowest point in years.

Check out our newest infographic, which reveals some fascinating insights from Gallup-Healthways research, including which states are seeing the greatest percentage of their residents without insurance as well as how health insurance coverage affects well-being.

For a deep dive into the data, Dan Witters, research director at Gallup, extensively discussed trends associated with health insurance data in a Healthways-sponsored webinar last month.

To learn more about the Well-Being Index, visit

The ACA's Impact on Health Insurance Coverage Nationally, Regionally and Individually


Topics: In the News Healthcare Gallup ACA