New Data Showing Significant Increase in the Number of Uninsured Americans Last Year
September 16, 2010
To: Reporters and Editors
From: Scott Mulhauser and Erin Shields for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Re: New Data Showing Significant Increase in the Number of Uninsured Americans Last Year
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) commented today after the U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers indicating that more Americans were uninsured in 2009 than in the previous year. Baucus said these new numbers reinforce the significant need for the patient protections included in the Affordable Care Act. That landmark law, which Baucus helped to write and pass earlier this year, protects consumers against egregious insurance company abuses that leave Americans uninsured such as denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, dropping coverage when a patient falls ill and instituting lifetime limits on coverage.
From Chairman Baucus:
“Last year, too many Americans lost their health insurance because of egregious insurance company abuses. The increase in uninsured Americans last year is clear evidence of how critical it was to take action to protect patients, and that’s exactly what the Affordable Care Act will do. Because of the health care law, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or asthma. Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer set an arbitrary dollar amount they’ll spend to treat patients before they simply deny all care. And, because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer drop coverage when folks get sick, just because of unintentional errors on applications years earlier. The Affordable Care Act stands up for patients and gives Americans the protections they deserve so more Americans can keep the quality insurance they need.”
More information on today’s Census numbers:
Specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage of uninsured Americans increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period. The new data also show that between 2008 and 2009, the number of people covered by private health insurance decreased from 201 million to 194.5 million, while the number covered by government health insurance climbed from 87.4 million to 93.2 million. In other words, the percentage of people covered by private insurance in 2009, 63.9 percent, is the lowest since 1987 when data on insurance coverage was first recorded, while the percentage of people covered by government health insurance programs in 2009, 30.6 percent, is the highest since 1987, as is the percentage covered by Medicaid, 15.7 percent.
The data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau can be found online at: http://www.census.gov/cps/.
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