For Immediate Release
Latest US Census Estimates Show 45.7 Million Americans Are Uninsured
Consumers Union’s Cover America Tour Puts A Face on Uninsured and Others Struggling to Afford the Health Care They Need
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today that estimates that
45.7 million Americans were uninsured in 2007 compared to 47 million in
2006. While the report shows a slight drop in the number of uninsured,
it underscores the urgent need to expand access to health coverage,
according to Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.
"It's important to remember that there are real people and families
behind these statistics," said DeAnn Friedholm, Health Reform Director
for Consumers Union. "The new census figures are a reminder of how
important it is to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable
Consumers Union's Cover America Tour has been traveling across the
country this summer chronicling the challenges that Americans face
getting affordable, high quality health coverage. The group has
collected nearly 4,000 stories from Americans across the country about
their health care experiences. The Cover America Tour is posting videos
of people talking about the difficulties they are experiencing,
including those who are uninsured at: www.CoverAmericaTour.org.
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The drop in the number of uninsured is due, in part, by the fact that
more people were covered by government health insurance programs during
this time. The U.S. Census report found that more people were covered
by government health insurance programs -- increasing from 27 percent
in 2006 to 27.8 percent in 2007. During this period, the number of
people covered by government health insurance increased to 83 million
up from 80.3 million in 2006. At the same time, the percentage of
people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance coverage
decreased to 59.3 percent in 2007 from 59.7 percent in 2006. These
numbers do not reflect the downturn of the economy in 2008.
"Nearly 46 million Americans have no health coverage and remain
vulnerable to financial disaster if a serious illness or accident
strikes," said Adrienne Hahn, Senior Attorney/Program Manager for
Consumers Union. "This report shows how critical Medicaid, Medicare,
and SCHIP are in providing a safety net to Americans who can't afford
health coverage, especially during tough economic times."
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