Millions of Americans losing health insurance

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Richard Moore

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Feb 26, 2009, 2:14:41 PM2/26/09
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http://www.truthout.org/022409HA

Report: Four Million Americans Lost Health Insurance Since Recession Began

Sunday 22 February 2009

by: Mary Beth Lehman, The Business Review

    An estimated 4 million Americans have lost their health insurance since the recession began, and as many as 14,000 people could be losing their health coverage every day, according to a report by liberal think tank Center for American Progress' Action Fund.

    The report also claims at least half of the 4 million who lost their insurance coverage still are uninsured. Before the recession started there were an estimated 46 million Americans without health insurance.

    The recent rocky economic climate, however, has likely increased the number of uninsured at the rate of 14,000 a day, according to the center.

    The report uses estimates from Urban Institute researchers that a one percentage point rise in the national unemployment rate causes 2.4 million people to lose employer-sponsored health coverage. Of those people, 1 million rely on Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program and 1.1 million end up uninsured.

    Since data was last collected in the spring 2007, the unemployment rate has grown from 4.4 percent to 7.6 percent, and as a result, an estimated 3.5 million people have lost their health insurance and are now uninsured.

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