Covering the Uninsured: Options for Reform

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, publication #7813, September 2008

From the summary:
Forty-five million people in the U.S., including nearly nine million children, lacked health insurance in 2007. Not having insurance affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities, and income levels and impacts their access to health care, their overall health, and their financial security. While no consensus on a solution has yet emerged, the 2008 presidential and congressional campaigns offer a forum for a vigorous debate on the issue.

Key Facts on the Uninsured

* In 2007, 45 million nonelderly people in the United States lacked health coverage
* More than eight in ten uninsured people (81%) come from working families
* About two-thirds of the nonelderly uninsured are from low-income families (income below 200% of poverty, about $42,400 for a family of 4 in 2007)
* More than one in three people (35%) living in poverty are uninsured, compared with one in twenty people (5%) with family incomes at or above four times the poverty level
* Adults age 19-54 make up the majority (71%) of the nonelderly uninsured, but nearly 9 million children lacked health coverage in 2007
* Since 2000 the number of nonelderly uninsured has grown by 8 million–with the only decline in the number of uninsured occurring in 2007, largely driven by an increase in public coverage
* Uninsured adults are five times as likely as the privately insured to lack a usual source of care (54% vs. 10%) and four times as likely to postpone care due to cost (26% vs. 6%)
* Fully half of the uninsured report paying for health care and health insurance is a serious problem

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