FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions in how fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga. Democrats are quick to blame President Donald Trump’s single-minded efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act for the increase in the nation’s uninsured rate. But census numbers suggest other explanations as well, from the administration’s immigration crackdown to the strong job market (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Rise in health uninsured may be linked to immigrants' fears

September 15, 2019 - 5:18 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Census Bureau reported an increase in the number of people without health insurance in America, it sent political partisans reaching for talking points on the Obama-era health law.

The new numbers suggest that fears of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown may be a more significant factor in the slippage.

Overall, the number of uninsured in the U.S. rose by 1.9 million people in 2018. An estimated 27.5 million people, or 8.5% of the population, lacked coverage.

But the data showed that Hispanics were the only major racial and ethnic category with a significant increase in their uninsured rate. Experts say immigrants may be afraid to seek coverage because of the administration's policies.

There was no significant change in health insurance for non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Asians.