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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson December 9, 2022

Uninsured rate for Black Americans declined in Biden's first year in office

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden pledged to reduce the health uninsurance rate for African Americans, noting that it has historically been higher than the uninsurance rate for white Americans.

Data covering Biden's first year in office shows he delivered on his promise.

The year before Biden took office, the uninsurance rate for Blacks was 10.4%. (Under Census Bureau definitions, there are various ways to determine who counts as "Black," but for this article, we'll use the bureau's "Black alone" category, which excludes people who identify with additional racial categories.) 

In 2021, Biden's first year in office, the uninsurance rate for Blacks fell to 9% — a drop of 1.4 percentage points. That was also lower than the rate in any year of Donald Trump's presidency.

Uninsurance rates for non-Hispanic whites also fell between 2020 and 2021, but not as dramatically, decreasing from 5.4% to 5.3%. 


The Biden administration accomplished this goal by working to expand the Affordable Care Act, which was signed when Biden was Barack Obama's vice president. Among other efforts, the Biden administration expanded the enrollment time window and added to the subsidies available to enrollees. 

This rate could rise during Biden's second, third or fourth year in office. If so, we'll reevaluate our rating. However, for now, he earns a Promise Kept.

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