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Uninsured Ranks Swell as Private Coverage Deteriorates

Armen Hareyan's picture

Middle-Class Losing Health Insurance Coverage at Fastest Rate

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Responding to newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the number of uninsured Americans increased by 1.3 million in 2005, members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) condemned the sharp increase in the number of uninsured and called for a national health insurance program to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage to all Americans.

The number of uninsured rose from 45.3 million in 2004 to 46.6 million in 2004 (15.9 percent of the population), the fifth straight year of increases. The number of uninsured has increased by 6.8 million since 2000. The number of uninsured children rose from 7.9 million in 2004 to 8.3 million (11.2 percent of all kids) in 2005, despite continued expansions of the Medicaid and SCHIP programs.

"Virtually all of the people who lost their coverage were solidly middle-class, full-time working American citizens," said PNHP co-founder Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Additionally, there are the tens of millions more whose insurance is so skimpy they would