About 500,000 fewer children lacked health insurance in 2002 than in 2001, largely because of government health programs, such as the 4.6 million-member State Children's Health Insurance Program, the government said. The percentage of children age 17 and under without health insurance fell to 9.8% in the first half of 2002, compared with 13.9% in 1997, according to a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, more than 41 million Americans, or 14.6% of the U.S. population, lack health insurance. About 4.5% of the population was unable to obtain needed medical care in 2002 because of financial barriers, the CDC said. Read the CDC report. -- by Jeff Tieman
More children had health coverage in 2002: CDC
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