New Uninsured Census Numbers Reinforce Need for Greater Efforts To Cover Uninsured

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Affordable Health Insurance

"Today's release by the Census Bureau on the 45.8 million Americans living without health insurance in 2004 reinforces the need to increase efforts to improve health insurance coverage. While the increased number is statistically small, an additional 860,000 Americans live without the safety net of health insurance.

"Tragically, without insurance many Americans do not seek medical care until their health problem reaches crisis proportions. By forgoing regular doctor visits and diagnostic tests that could catch serious illnesses early, many uninsured patients are diagnosed too late to affect the outcome.

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"As the decrease in employment-based health insurance continues, the AMA renews its call for health insurance solutions that put patients in the driver's seat, along with their physicians.

The cornerstones of the AMA plan for reducing the ranks of the uninsured advocate expanded coverage and choice through refundable tax credits inversely related to income, individually selected and owned health insurance, and a wide range of new, affordable insurance options.

"The AMA urges all stakeholders, the health care community, business community and government officials, to work together to help provide all Americans with health care coverage."

Statement attributable to: J. Edward Hill, MD, AMA President

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