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CDC: The uninsured rate now the lowest on record

(Philippe Huguen / AFP via Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control has spent 17 years measuring the number of people without health insurance. In new 2014 data, the federal agency found that number hit a new low.

The survey found that 13.1 percent of Americans lacked health insurance at the time of their interview with the CDC. Back in 1997, when the CDC started surveying on this issue, 15.4 percent of those surveyed said they didn't have coverage.

This is, in part, a reflection of Obamacare. The CDC saw a 1.3 percentage point drop drop in the uninsured rate between 2013 and 2014.

But the CDC data arguably reflects the importance of a totally different health insurance expansion even more. The Children's Health Insurance Program was created in 1997 to offer insurance coverage to low income children. By early 1999, nearly all states had opted into the program (and all 50 participate today). That program has, over the past 17 years, cut the uninsured rate of children in half.

uninsured kids

(CDC)

The uninsured rate for kids has fallen from 13.9 percent in 1997 to 6.6 percent today, a huge decline that pretty much all traces back to the CHIP program expanding coverage.

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