Saturday, December 04, 2004

Uninsured in America

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/health_cast/uploaded_files/Kellermann_Testimony.pdf Aurthur Kellermann, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Injury Control, Rollins School of Public Health testified before the US Congress and dispelled 4 commonly held beliefs about the 45 million uninsured in America. Myth: “People without health insurance get the medical care they need.” Myth: “Most people without health insurance are young, healthy adults who decline coverage offered in the workplace because they feel they don’t need it.” Myth: “Most of the uninsured don’t work, or live in families where no one works.” Myth: “Recent immigration has been a major source of the increase in the uninsured population."

Aurthur Kellermann, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Injury Control, Rollins School of Public Health testified before the US Congress and dispelled 4 commonly held beliefs about the 45 million uninsured in America.

Myth: “People without health insurance get the medical care they need.” Reality: In any given year, the uninsured are much more likely to lack needed medical care. They are less likely to see a doctor, receive fewer preventive services such as blood pressure checks, mammograms and screening for colorectal cancer, and are less likely to have a regular source of medical care particularly for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Myth: “Most people without health insurance are young, healthy adults who decline coverage offered in the workplace because they feel they don’t need it.” Reality: Young adults are more likely than persons of other ages to be uninsured largely because they are ineligible for workplace health insurance – many are too new in their jobs, or they work for a business that does not provide health insurance coverage to its employees. Only 4 percent of all workers ages 18 – 44, or about 3 million people, are uninsured because they declined available workplace health insurance. Many of these do so because they can’t afford their share of the premium. Nearly four times as many workers in the same age group, approximately 11 million people, are uninsured because their employer does not offer health insurance, and they cannot afford to purchase insurance elsewhere.

Myth: “Most of the uninsured don’t work, or live in families where no one works.” Reality: More than eighty percent of uninsured children and adults under the age of 65 live in working families. While working improves the chances that both the worker and his or her family will be insured, it is not a guarantee. Even members of families with two full-time wage earners have almost a one-in-ten chance of being uninsured.

Myth: “Recent immigration has been a major source of the increase in the uninsured population.” Reality: Between 1994 and 1998, over 80 percent of the growth in the size of the uninsured population consisted of U.S. citizens. Recent immigrants (those who have resided in the U.S. for fewer than 6 years) are about three times as likely as members of the general population to be uninsured, but they comprise only about 6 percent of the
uninsured population.

Non-hispanic whites comprise 50% of the uninsured. African Americans are twice as likely to be uninsured as non-hispanic whites. Hispanic whites are three times as likely to be uninsured as non-hispanic whites. Foreign-born U.S. residents are three times as likely to be uninsured as people born in this country. Among the foreign born, non-citizens are more than twice as likely to lack coverage as naturalized citizens.

The risk of being uninsured varies regionally. Roughly a quarter of the populations of Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California are uninsured.

1 comment:

BRoz said...

Aurthur Kellermann, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Injury Control, Rollins School of Public Health testified before the US Congress and dispelled 4 commonly held beliefs about the 45 million uninsured in America.

Myth: “People without health insurance get the medical care they need.” Reality: In any given year, the uninsured are much more likely to lack needed medical care. They are less likely to see a doctor, receive fewer preventive services such as blood pressure checks, mammograms and screening for colorectal cancer, and are less likely to have a regular source of medical care particularly for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Myth: “Most people without health insurance are young, healthy adults who decline coverage offered in the workplace because they feel they don’t need it.” Reality: Young adults are more likely than persons of other ages to be uninsured largely because they are ineligible for workplace health insurance – many are too new in their jobs, or they work for a business that does not provide health insurance coverage to its employees. Only 4 percent of all workers ages 18 – 44, or about 3 million people, are uninsured because they declined available workplace health insurance. Many of these do so because they can’t afford their share of the premium. Nearly four times as many workers in the same age group, approximately 11 million people, are uninsured because their employer does not offer health insurance, and they cannot afford to purchase insurance elsewhere.

Myth: “Most of the uninsured don’t work, or live in families where no one works.” Reality: More than eighty percent of uninsured children and adults under the age of 65 live in working families. While working improves the chances that both the worker and his or her family will be insured, it is not a guarantee. Even members of families with two full-time wage earners have almost a one-in-ten chance of being uninsured.

Myth: “Recent immigration has been a major source of the increase in the uninsured population.” Reality: Between 1994 and 1998, over 80 percent of the growth in the size of the uninsured population consisted of U.S. citizens. Recent immigrants (those who have resided in the U.S. for fewer than 6 years) are about three times as likely as members of the general population to be uninsured, but they comprise only about 6 percent of the
uninsured population.

Non-hispanic whites comprise 50% of the uninsured. African Americans are twice as likely to be uninsured as non-hispanic whites. Hispanic whites are three times as likely to be uninsured as non-hispanic whites. Foreign-born U.S. residents are three times as likely to be uninsured as people born in this country. Among the foreign born, non-citizens are more than twice as likely to lack coverage as naturalized citizens.

The risk of being uninsured varies regionally. Roughly a quarter of the populations of Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California are uninsured.