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More Working People Go Without Health Coverage as Insurance Costs Outpace Income
Date:3/24/2009

What's happened in each state since the 1994 federal health reform debate is chronicled in a state-by-state analysis released during 'Cover the Uninsured Week'

PRINCETON, N.J., March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Congress and the Obama administration discussing how to reform the nation's health care system, a new report looks at what has happened since the last significant reform effort ended in 1994 without any comprehensive congressional action. The analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) documents the deteriorating scenario unfolding since then:

  • Nationwide, nearly 9 million more Americans are uninsured.

  • Six million more working people are uninsured in the United States.

  • Nationwide, average costs paid by an employee for an individual health insurance premium have risen nearly eight times faster than average U.S. incomes.

  • The percentage of nonelderly people with private health insurance has decreased to just 67 percent, down six percentage points nationwide.

"The case for reform couldn't be clearer," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Further inaction means that costs rise, businesses struggle, and workers go without. As high as the numbers of uninsured people seem to be, they don't even reflect the current crisis with millions of Americans losing their jobs, which puts their insurance status in jeopardy. And the more people who become uninsured, the harder it is on our health care system."

The report - At the Brink: Trends in America's Uninsured 1994-2007 - chronicles state-by-state health coverage trends. Over the last 15 years, nearly every state has seen increased numbers of
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SOURCE Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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