Some Swell News about the Uninsured

I am not alone. Indeed, according to a recent report issued by Families USA, I have a great deal of company. I am among an estimated 89.6 million Americans under the age of 65 who lacked health insurance coverage at some point in the last two years. And our numbers continue to swell—much like our untended injuries—aided, as it were, by leaders (and I use that term loosely) who are too ineffectual or uncaring to take action to remedy the growing health care crisis in this nation. It is a disgrace.

The Los Angeles Times has more on the Families USA report:

Study finds 89.6 million lacked health insurance

ore than one-third of the people in the United States under the age of 65 had no health insurance for some or all of 2006 and 2007, according to a study released Thursday by Families USA, an advocacy group for the uninsured.

The 89.6 million individuals identifying themselves as lacking insurance for at least a month, according to the advocacy group, was almost double the number of uninsured reported by the Census Bureau for 2006.

“It’s simply unacceptable that for lack of basic health coverage, nearly 90 million Americans had to live in fear of illness and injury in the last two years,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees national healthcare programs.

California had the largest number of individuals uninsured during some or all of that two-year period — 13 million, or nearly 41% of state residents younger than 65. Texas was second, with 9.3 million. Americans older than 65 are eligible for Medicare and were not considered in the Families USA study.

More than 70% of those without insurance in part or all of 2006 and 2007 were employed full time, the report said.

Half lacked insurance for nine months or more.

“This is a story of working people, working families. This is not a story of people looking for a handout,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. “These are people who simply can’t afford to pay for health coverage with their modest paychecks.” [full text]

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5 responses

  1. Paul Krugman had a column about this back when the SCHIP debate was happening.

    In passing the Medicare Part D, private insurers were given a govt subsidy to offer protection. This is because the private sector, with all its “efficiencies” really can’t compete with the govt because private insurers have to turn a profit.

    Well, if this subsidy were cut, it would have provided enough money to cover a few million kids under SCHIP. However, the regime currently occupying the White House and their Congressional henchmen decided that it was more important to preserve insurance company profits than it was to provide medical care for kids.

    Ir’s all about money, people. First, last, and everything in between. This is capitalism at its best. Protect the wealthy and everyone else be damned.

    And no: as this last economic “boom” has proven, it doesn’t trickle down. Krugman had a column about that, too. Called: “Dude, Where’s My Trickle?” Now that the Times Select barrier is gone, I recommend you head over there and read some of his stuff.

  2. Sorry, had to add this: but Bush just threatened to veto the bill on children’s health passed by the Dems. He called it “irresponsible.”

    Bush calling anyone “irresponsible” is…you get the picture.

  3. Klaus… how did Bush manage to pronounce the word “irresponsible.”? Was he just having a lucky day?

  4. Guess so, Edger. Either that, or Bush is a hand-puppet and Cheney actually did the talking.

  5. Well… we knew about the hand puppet part. I guess it was Dick having a lucky day with Texas style pronunciatin’.

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