A Gallup report released Tuesday shows that Arkansas outpaced the rest of the country in reducing the rate of uninsured residents during the first six months of 2014. Arkansas's uninsured rate fell from 22.5% at the end of 2013 to 12.4% midway through 2014. This means that approximately 45% of Arkansans who did not have health coverage at the beginning of the year are now insured.
"When we worked with the Arkansas Legislature to pass the Private Option, we said it would make Arkansas a national leader for innovative health-care solutions, and this report proves that to be true," Governor Mike Beebe said. "Even though not everyone was happy with the circumstances surrounding the Affordable Care Act in our state, we showed that we could find a bipartisan path to make the best of the situation and help our people."
In 2013, Arkansas ranked next to last among states for its uninsured rate, with only Texas having a higher rate of uninsured residents. Six months into 2014, Arkansas has surpassed half the country, and is now tied for 22nd with New Hampshire.