KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

New Uninsured Number: Up To 46.3 Million In 2008

The Associated Press: "The Census Bureau reports that the number of people lacking health insurance rose to 46.3 million in 2008. That's up from 45.7 million in 2007, due to a continuing erosion of employer-provided insurance. Still, the level remained just below the peak of 47 million who were uninsured in 2006, because of the growth of government insurance programs such as Medicaid for the poor" (Yen, 9/10).

Los Angeles Times/Tribune: "The ranks of people without medical coverage, which increased from 45.7 million in 2007, were expected to have risen more sharply last year. But the overall number was lowered by expanding government safety-net programs and rising Medicare enrollment, which is driven by aging Baby Boomers. The number of uninsured children fell to 7.3 million from 8.1 million in 2007" (Lee, 9/10).

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that "David Johnson, who heads the Census Bureau's housing and household economic statistics division, told a telephone conference that  ... that anyone who had insurance earlier in 2008 year and lost it because of unemployment in the latter part of 2008 would have been counted in the report as having medical coverage -- meaning next year's uninsured numbers could be far worse" (Smith, 9/10).

The Census Bureau released highlights of the uninsured numbers.


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