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 swellâ€”much like our untended injuriesâ€”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:
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]