NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Poll On The Uninsured

May 22, 2000

A recent survey by The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is the first to provide year 2000 data on the problem of the uninsured.

Uninsured adults in the survey were asked why they lack health insurance coverage.

  • Seventy-four percent said a major reason is that it is too expensive, 48 percent said that their job did not cover it and 36 percent said that they are unemployed or between jobs.
  • Other reasons included not being covered by a family member's insurance, not being able to get coverage and not knowing how to get it.
  • When asked for the top reason that they lack insurance, 48 percent said it was because insurance is too expensive.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) said that buying health insurance would requires them to give up other things, including basic necessities such as food (21 percent) and rent (13 percent).

More than 8 in 10 uninsured Americans are employed or are dependents of people who work, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Source: "Poll Reveals Misperceptions About The Uninsured," Reuters Health, May 17, 2000.


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