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Number of Uninsured Americans Drops
Date:8/26/2008

More children now covered by government-sponsored programs, Census Bureau reports

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Americans without health insurance dropped by more than 1 million people in 2007, the first annual decline in seven years, U.S. Census Bureau officials announced Tuesday.

The drop was driven largely by an increase in the number of children getting health insurance through government-funded programs.

"Both the percentage and number of people without health insurance decreased in 2007," David Johnson, chief of the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, said during a morning teleconference.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance was 15.3 percent in 2007, down from 15.8 percent in 2006. The number of uninsured dropped from 47 million in 2006 to 45.7 million in 2007, Johnson said.

The number of people with health insurance increased from 249.8 million in 2006 to 253.4 million in 2007, according to the Census Bureau report: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.

The number of children with health insurance increased to 8.7 million in 2007, up from 8.1 million in 2006. The number of children living in poverty declined from 2006 to 2007; children living in poverty were more likely to be uninsured.

"The number of children covered by government health insurance programs increased to 31 percent from 29.8 percent in 2006," Johnson said. "This is the main reason for the fall in the uninsured rates in children and for the fall in uninsured rates in the general population," he said.

While the number of people with private health insurance did not change significantly between 2006 and 2007, the number of people covered by government health insurance such as Medicaid increased from 80.3 million in 2006 to 83 million in 2007.

The number of people covered by privat
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