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New report says number of uninsured declining in Phoenix

PHOENIX — A new report claims that more people who live in Phoenix are getting health insurance.

The report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says the number of uninsured Phoenix residents is dropping fast.

“If the patterns continue, we’re going to see about half as many people who are uninsured in Phoenix as we saw about a year ago,” said John Lumpkin, the foundation’s senior vice president.

He said the number of those without health insurance could drop 54 percent, from the 386,000 that are currently uninsured, to about 177,000 by 2016.

Lumpkin said one reason for the drop is that people are signing up for Obamacare.

“The Affordable Care Act health reform has made opportunities for people to get low-cost or subsidized health insurance,” he said. “People are getting insurance so that they’re protected whenever they get sick or injured.”

He said he believes there’s another reason for the drop in uninsured.

“Arizona chose to expand the Medicaid program,” said Lumpkin. “We’re seeing that the majority of people who sign up for health insurance are people who are getting it through Medicaid or people who are doing it through the health insurance exchanges.”

Lumpkin predicts that Obamacare will pump 10 billion federal health-care dollars into the Phoenix economy by 2023.