Number Of US Uninsured Increases, More Minorities Uninsured

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The number of uninsured people in the U.S. increased from 44.8million in 2005 to 47 million in 2006, with minorities being amongthose hardest hit, a new Census Bureau report says, Dow Jonesreports. According to the report, the percentage of the populationwithout health insurance rose from 15.3% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2006.

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The report also found that:

  • The proportion of blacks without health insurance rose from 19% in 2005 to 20.5% in 2006;
  • The proportion of Hispanics without health insurance rose from 32.3% in 2005 to 34.1% in 2006;
  • The rate of whites without health insurance remained static at 10.8% (Gerencher, Dow Jones, 8/29);
  • Comparedwith white children, black children were twice as likely and Hispanicchildren were three times as likely to be uninsured; and
  • Texas,New Mexico and Florida -- states with large populations of newimmigrants -- had the highest number of uninsured residents (Dorschner,Miami Herald, 8/29).

Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,said the overall increase in the number of the uninsured is related torising health costs and declining numbers of employers who offerworkers health insurance. According to Dow Jones, minorities were disproportionately affected by declining job-based health insurance (Dow Jones,8/29). According to the Census report, the percentage of people withemployer-sponsored health coverage dropped from 60.2% in 2005 to 59.7%in 2006. At the same time, the proportion of people covered by publichealth insurance programs declined from 27.3% to 27% (Miami Herald, 8/29).

Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health,said because many Hispanics work, "they don't qualify for publicprograms, but at the same time, the cost of health insurance is tooexpensive to pay for with their income" (Dow Jones, 8/29).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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