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Lack Of Insurance Means Worse Care For Uninsured

A new study finds, that lack of insurance means worse care when it comes to preventive tests that can catch cancer and other diseases early, even for the relatively well off people. //

The study author Dr. Joseph S. Ross, a primary care internist in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University, explained that lacking in health insurance was associated with reduced care at each income level. He said that even though rates of use increase as income increases, uninsured adults are not using their pocket funds to narrow the gap in use between themselves and insured adults.

The findings, which came as a surprise to the study authors, also call into question the suitability of recent policy initiatives. Stating that if the aim is to get people into preventive care and to increase the percentage of people being screened, then the need to examine the issue of cost sharing for these services must be really looked into, said Mark Rukavina, executive director of the Access Project, a Boston-based consumer advocacy group focused on the uninsured. He said that the idea of putting the burden of costs on people will somehow increase the number of people being screened was very impractical.

Statistics show that currently, more than 45 million Americans, representing almost one-fifth of the non-Medicare population are without health insurance. The study also shows that the number of Americans without health insurance has increased by more than 6 million between 2000 and 2004, this could be largely due to decline in the employer sponsored coverage. The study stated, that one-third of that increase occurred among adults with incomes totalling more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

And according to a report released last week, the analysts found that the number of middle-income Americans without health insurance is on the rise: 41 percent of working-age Americans with annual incomes between $20,000 and $
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