KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CDC Report: 50 Million Americans Uninsured

KBOI (Boise, Idaho)/ABC News Radio: "According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49.9 million people ages 18 to 64," or about 26.2 percent of the adult population, "had no medical coverage for at least part of the past 12 months. … Moreover, when children 17 and under are factored in, the number of Americans uninsured for at least part of a year span numbered 59.1 million." Most people over age 64 have "universal coverage, thanks to Medicare," but older adults who skip doctor's visits because they lack insurance "are sicker when they reach 65," which "further taxes Medicare." The silver lining: "Public programs such as Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program have reduced the number of children without medical insurance from ten million two years ago to 8.7 million" (11/10).

Reuters: The CDC analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and the first quarter of 2010. The survey covered 90,000 individuals from 35,000 households. The findings revealed that 3 million more people "went for a year or more with no health insurance" in the first quarter of 2010 than in 2008, and that half of the uninsured were above the poverty level. One in three adults under 65 who made between $44,000 and $65,000 a year, the "middle income range," were uninsured at some point during the year. The findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "have implications for U.S. healthcare reform efforts. ... Experts from both sides predict gridlock in Congress for the next two years in implementing healthcare reform's provisions" (Fox, 11/9).

Kansas Health Institute: "The findings were released as one of CDC's 'Vital Signs' reports, a series that focuses on a different public health issue each month." The growing number of people without coverage "meant more people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma were skipping or postponing care, increasing the likelihood of costly complications. According to the report, 40 percent of Americans have one or more chronic conditions" (11/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.