NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Americans Lack Health Insurance

July 17, 2000

A new study finds that the number of Americans without health insurance continues to grow. The study, conducted by John Holahan and Johnny Kim, appears in the current issue of Health Affairs.

Using census data, the authors compared coverage rates for two periods.

  • During the first, from 1989 to 1993, employer-sponsored insurance coverage declined because of rising health-care costs, a shift from manufacturing to service-sector jobs and increased temporary and part-time employment.
  • During this period, the proportion of the nonelderly population without insurance increased from 16.2 percent to 18.2 percent -- while the number of children without insurance grew from 16.4 percent to 17 percent.
  • In the 1994 to 1998 period, the population of uninsured nonelderly persons went from 17.3 percent to 18.4 percent -- and the proportion of uninsured children climbed from 14.5 percent to 15.6 percent.
  • The decline in insurance coverage came mainly because of a drop in Medicaid coverage due to welfare reform, the report says.

The increase of those without insurance would have been even steeper had it not been for increases in employer-sponsored coverage. The number of adults covered through employers rose about 6.1 million, while the number of dependent children covered increased by about 3.3 million.

Source: Lolly Bowean, "More Americans Lack Health Insurance Despite the Nation's Pulsating Economy," Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2000.


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