KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Highlights New Uninsured Census Numbers During Meeting With Nurses

Almost 6 million more Americans were uninsured during the last year when the economy worsened, President Obama, citing new census data, told a group of nurses at the White House on Thursday, the New York Times reports. Obama, who was "seeking to buttress his case for the kind of comprehensive health care overhaul that has eluded Washington for decades," said he would not "permit reform to be postponed or imperiled by the usual ideological diversions." Administration officials said the nurse's professional association endorsed Obama's plan for overhauling the nation's healthcare system.

"He used his brief appearance to reinforce Wednesday night's message that his plan will bring 'security and stability' to those who have insurance, and coverage to those who do not," according to the New York Times (Stolberg and Zeleny, 9/10).

ABC News' Political Punch blog points out that the American Nurses Association's support "is not new – The President had a similar event in the Rose Garden in July." According to the blog, Obama said:

"This morning, the Census Bureau released new data showing not only that the poverty rate increased last year at the highest rate since the early 1990s, but also that the number of uninsured rose in 2008. ... That's 17,000 [uninsured] men and women every single day. And we know that, during this period of time, the number of adults who get their coverage at the workplace has dropped by 8 million people" (Miller, 9/10).

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