Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Number of Uninsured "Worse Than Epidemic"

A study blending US Census numbers and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality research shows more than a quarter of Pennsylvanians under the age of 65 were uninsured some time in the last 2 years. The study by Families USA found nationally the numbers were even higher. Nearly a third of all non-elderly Americans went without insurance at some point since January of 2007. Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack says in Pennsylvania the uninsured were not just bouncing from one coverage to the next. 69% percent of those who were uninsured went without coverage for at least 6 months. Pollack says if you dig deeper into the numbers you see that three quarters of those who were uninsured still had at least one breadwinner in the household. He also points out that the problem hits minorities hardest. The data shows while 24% of non-Hispanic whites were caught up in the statistics 37% of African Americans went without insurance and 46% of Hispanics were uninsured at some time in 2007 or 2008. Pollack calls the situation “worse than an epidemic.”

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