Census Bureau Adjusts Number of U.S. Uninsured in 1999 Down by 2%
The U.S. Census Bureau reported on Aug. 2 that 39.3 million Americans, or 14% of the population, did not have health insurance in 1999, 3.3 million fewer than the 16% that the agency estimated last year, the AP/New York Times reports. Based on a survey taken in March 2000, the Census Bureau estimated last September that 42.6 million Americans went without health insurance in 1999, but analysis of "follow-up questions" found that figure to be "too high," Census Bureau acting director William Barron said (AP/New York Times, 8/2). According to the Census Bureau, the follow-up questions, which were only being tested in the March 2000 survey, will be used in all future surveys, marking a shift in the bureau's methodology that has been under development since 1998 (Census Bureau release, 8/2). The 39.3 million estimate, which, according to Census officials, will officially replace the 1999 estimate, would be the lowest since the 38.6 million found in 1992 (Current Population Survey, 8/2). Estimates on the rate of uninsurance for 2000 are expected to be released next month (AP/New York Times, 8/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.