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October 06, 2008

Trends in health care coverage

Every year the government comes out with a report detailing the health care coverage of Americans. The latest report was just released, and it contains some good news. What is that news?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"It does. It's for 2007, so it concerns what happened with health care insurance from 2006 to 2007. The good news is that both the number and percentage of people without health insurance declined from 2006 to 2007. In fact, the number of unemployed dropped from 47 million to 45.7 million, and the percentage with health insurance fell from 16.8 to 16.2 percent. Now, the big question is, Why? And interestingly, actually the number and percentage of folks with private health insurance fell slightly. What went up was the number and percentage of folks with government insurance, that is, both the number and percentage of folks with insurance from the government such as Medicare, Medicaid or military health care all rose. Furthermore, the good news happened for all racial and ethnic groups except one, and that is Asians. Asian people were the only group where we did not see improvements in the number of uninsured."

Posted by Dave at October 6, 2008 08:33 AM