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Number of Uninsured Jumped By Nearly 3 Million in 2009
Date:6/16/2010

children lacked health coverage, compared to 9.9 million children in 1997," she said. "The decline in the percent of uninsured children is attributable to the increase in the percent of children covered by public plans."

Cohen noted that the number of uninsured adults varied from state to state. For example, in Massachusetts 3.7 percent of adults were uninsured, while 24.6 percent of adults lacked health insurance in Texas.

In addition, since 2007 there has been a significant increase in the number of people with private health insurance who have high deductibles, Cohen said. That number has gone from 17.5 percent of privately insured adults in 2007 to 22.4 percent in 2009.

For people who buy their own health insurance, the number of those with high deductibles has risen from 39 percent in 2007 to almost 47 percent in 2009, Cohen said.

Sara Collins, vice president of the Program on Affordable Health Insurance at the Commonwealth Fund, said the low rate of uninsured in Massachusetts portends what health care reform will bring about for the entire country.

"The universal coverage law [in Massachusetts] is so similar to the new national health care reform law it really points to what the new reform law is likely to achieve across all states when it is fully implemented," she said.

The federal law will be go fully into effect in 2014.

"Going forward, you are not going to see the big drop-offs in coverage as you see in this recession," Collins said.

More information

For more information on health care reform, visit the Commonwealth Fund.



SOURCES: Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., statistician, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sara Collins, Ph.D., vice president, Program on Affordable Health Insurance, Commonwealth Fund; Ju
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