The percentage of people who do not have health insurance rose to 12.3 percent in the third quarter of the year, the first such rise since ObamaCare took effect in 2014.
The hike in the uninsured rate, up 1.4 percent according to Gallup since the beginning of the year, comes as the GOP Congress has sought to repeal the law and as President Trump has threatened to allow its implosion.
Trump last week said he would end federal payments to insurers meant to help people afford ObamaCare, and his administration has cut funds that would sign people for the health exchanges.
Democrats have been attacking Trump for “sabotage” of the law, highlighting the 90 percent cut to the advertising and outreach budget.When ObamaCare went into effect in 2014, the nation saw a steep drop in the uninsured rate, which had peaked at 18 percent in 2013.
Today’s higher rate also comes as the nation’s unemployment rate has fallen. Because many people get health insurance through their employer, strong employment can lower the uninsured rate.
Experts expect the cuts and confusion over whether the law is being repealed will further depress enrollment — which could cause the rate of people without insurance to rise further.
“Uncertainty about the healthcare law also may be driving the increase,” Gallup writes. “Congressional Republicans’ attempts to replace the healthcare law may be causing consumers to question whether the government will enforce the penalty for not having insurance.”
Gallup also points to some insurers dropping out of certain markets and premium increases as a possible cause.
“The rising insurance premiums could be compelling some Americans to forgo insurance, especially those who fail to qualify for federal subsidies,” Gallup said.