Top Story

Census report reveals increase in number of uninsured in 2008, president says situation has since ‘grown worse’ – MedCity Morning Read, Sept. 11, 2009

The percentage of Americans without health insurance remained steady at 15.4 percent in 2008, even as the actual number of people without coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Image by adria.richards via Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The percentage of Americans without health insurance remained steady at 15.4 percent in 2008, even as the actual number of people without coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The New York Times reported that an eight-year trend continued: The number of people with private or employment-based insurance declined, while more people relied on Medicare, Medicaid, the children’s insurance program and military insurance.

presented by

The number of adults aged 18 to 64 without health insurance rose from 19.6 percent in 2007 to 20.3 percent in 2008. The number of uninsured children dropped from 11 percent to 9.9 percent in that same time period, “apparently because of the federal government’s special efforts to insure low-income children,” the Times said.

Analysts warned that the 2008 numbers “could significantly understate today’s reality since they do not capture the economic impact in the first half of 2009, when unemployment was steadily rising,” according to the Associated Press.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the situation has “grown worse” in the past year, the Associated Press reported. “It’s estimated that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled by at least 6 million,” he said.

At the same time that it released the health insurance statistics, the Census Bureau announced that the nation’s poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2 percent, up from 12.5 percent the year before and the highest it has been since 1997. That equates to 39.8 million people living below the poverty line, which is defined as $22,025 for a family of four.

sponsored content

A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

More stories worth a read:

Topics