While close to a dozen bills introduced during the previous Congressional session aim to shrink the number of uninsured Americans, only a handful of them would come close to doing so, according to an independent analysis sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund and conducted by the Lewin Group.
If combined, bills by Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who aims to ensure coverage for children, and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who seek a Medicare for all type system, would cover the projected 48.9 million uninsured Americans by 2010, according to the report.
Several other bills, including Sen. Ron Wydens (D-Ore.) Healthy Americans Act and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) recently released legislative reform package, would make a significant dent in the number of uninsured. Baucus proposals, when tallied, would extend coverage to 44.9 million uninsured individuals, leaving 4 million without coverage, the analysis shows, while Wydens would cover 46 million, leaving fewer than 3 million uncovered.
The Lewin report estimates that the number of uninsured in the U.S. would rise to 48.9 million in 2010 out of a total estimated population of 306.9 million. Proposals by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) are also cited in the report as bills that could also make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.