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High Number of Uninsured Hits Home For Many Americans
Date:8/26/2008

AMA Reiterates Call for Action and Asks Patients to Share Their Voices

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement attributable to Nancy Nielsen, M.D., American Medical Association President:

"As our nation continues to face a crisis of about 46 million uninsured, many Americans need to look no further than their own families and friends, or neighbors to find someone without health insurance. The uninsured problem does not discriminate, it affects each and every one of us, and everyone deserves better than the status quo. As members of Congress and presidential candidates gather at the conventions, it is vital that they address this important issue.

"Many patients don't have access to needed health care as the economy's health declines. Employer-based health insurance is no longer an option for many workers and their families, as employment-based coverage continued to decline in 2007, dropping to 59.3 percent. Americans need more affordable, portable health insurance options.

"U.S. health care spending continues to climb, driving up premiums, and pricing many patients out of coverage. Uninsured patients often don't get the preventive care they need leading to more difficult and more costly conditions to treat. A good first step to address health care costs is to cover all Americans, ensuring they have better access to health care.

"The AMA proposal to cover the uninsured is a public and private approach that will make needed changes to today's system. We advocate for a shift in tax incentives for health insurance so lower-income Americans get money to purchase coverage. We also want insurance market reforms to provide individuals more choices and ensure coverage for high-risk patients.

"All Americans need to get involved in the health care coverage debate, and the American Medical Association is providing them with the opportunity through our Voice For The Uninsured campaign. Patients can share their
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SOURCE American Medical Association
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