One-Third of U.S. Residents Under 65 Uninsured, Study Finds
About 89.6 million U.S. residents younger than age 65, or about 34.7% of the population, lacked health insurance at some point during 2006-2007, according to a study released on Thursday by Families USA, the Florida Times-Union reports (Karkaria, Florida Times-Union, 9/21).
The study, which examined Census Bureau data from 2006-2007 and 1999-2000, found that almost two-thirds of residents who lacked health insurance did not have coverage for six months or more and that more than half lacked coverage for nine months or more.
In addition, the study found that 79.3% residents who lacked health insurance were from working families, with 70.6% employed full time and 8.7% employed part time (CQ HealthBeat, 9/20). The study also found that non-Hispanic whites accounted for 26% of residents who lacked health insurance, compared with 44.5% of non-Hispanic blacks and 60.7% of Hispanics (Florida Times-Union, 9/21).
Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said, "The huge number of people without health coverage over the past two years helps to explain why health care has become the top domestic issue in the 2008 presidential campaign," adding, "The expansion of health coverage in America is no longer simply a matter of altruism about other people but a matter of intense self-interest" (CQ HealthBeat, 9/20). In addition, Pollack said that he does not expect action by the federal government to address the issue "as long as the president is in the White House" (Griggs, Baton Rouge Advocate, 9/21). The study is available online (.pdf).
American Public Media's "Marketplace Morning Report" on Thursday reported on the study. The segment includes comments from Pollack (Palmer, "Marketplace Morning Report," American Public Media, 9/20). Audio and a transcript of the segment are available online.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.