TV News Ignores Historic Findings That Uninsured Rate Drops To “Record Low”

Broadcast And Cable News Fail To Inform Viewers About Major Obamacare Success Story

According to an April 7 update to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for the first quarter of 2016, the uninsured rate among American adults dropped to 11.0 percent -- the lowest rate of uninsurance in the 8-year history of the poll. The uninsured rate has dropped over 6 percentage points since the third quarter of 2013, the last recording period before the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” went into effect in October 2013. A Media Matters review found that none of the major television outlets reported on Gallup’s historic findings.

Report Finds Health Uninsurance Rate Lowest In Poll History, People Of Color See Greatest Insurance Gains

Gallup: Uninsured Rate Hits “Record Low.” On April 7, Gallup released its quarterly poll results and found that the percentage of adults 18 years or older without health insurance fell to 11 percent, marking the lowest rate since the poll began. Since the implementation of the ACA insurance coverage mandate, the percentage of Americans without health insurance has dropped over six percentage points, with the most dramatic increases in health care coverage seen among Hispanics, African-Americans, individuals under 34, and individuals making less than $36,000 a year:

[Gallup, 4/7/16]

Wash. Post’s Sargent: Blacks And Hispanics See Largest Drop In Uninsured Rate. Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent wrote that, while “GOP presidential candidates continue to pledge to obliterate Obamacare” and congressional Republicans pledge to repeal the ACA, Gallup’s results show the uninsured rate has “plummeted” since the law took effect. Sargent highlighted that “two of the groups who have experienced the largest drop in the uninsured rate are blacks and Hispanics,” with the uninsured rate dropping 9.5 percentage points for African-Americans and 10.4 percentage points for Hispanics. [The Washington Post, 4/7/16]

TV News Ignores Historic Drop In Uninsured Rate

Gallup’s Results Ignored Across Major Television Outlets. Media Matters reviewed weekday evening and Sunday cable news programs and weekday evening and Sunday broadcast news programs and found that none of the major television outlets reported on Gallup’s findings or how dramatic the drop in the uninsured rate has been for low-income Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, or young people.


Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts from April 7 through April 14 of cable evening (defined as 5 p.m. through 11 p.m.) weekday programs, broadcast evening weekday programs and the five Sunday morning political talk shows: CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Face the Nation with John Dickerson, and NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: uninsured, Affordable Care Act, health insurance, uninsurance, health care, healthcare, Obamacare, Gallup, or gallop.