The number of people in the U.S. without health insurance coverage increased to 47 million in 2006, or 15.8% of the population, up from 44.8 million, or 15.3%, in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its the second consecutive year the number of uninsured rose, said David Johnson, chief of the bureaus housing and household economic statistics division.
The percentage and number of children under 18 years old without health insurance also increased. In 2006, 8.7 million children, or 11.7% of the population, were uninsured, according to the agency. In 2005, 8 million children, roughly 10.9% of the population, went uncovered.
Additionally, individuals covered by both employer-based insurance and government health programs slightly decreased in 2006, according to the Census Bureaus annual Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States report.
When millions of hardworking men and women do not have health insurance themselves and cannot cover their children, it raises serious clinical, economic and moral concerns about how we as a nation will meet the needs of the people, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in a statement. Read the report. -- by Matthew DoBias