Almost half of all Americans will go without insurance for some period of time, with more than one-third going without coverage for more than a year, according to new study released by the Treasury Department and which President Barack Obama cites in his weekly radio address.
Obama notes gaps in access to coverage
“It's an anxiety that's keeping more and more Americans awake at night,” Obama said in his address, adding that over the past 12 months almost 6 million Americans have lost health coverage. “We're not just talking about Americans in poverty, either. We're talking about middle-class Americans.”
The study found that 48% of Americans under the age of 65 were uninsured at some point over a 10-year period, with 41% going without coverage for at least six months. The data also show that 36% of U.S. citizens go without coverage for at least a year.
Additional findings show that 53% of Americans in rural areas go without insurance and that 45% with household incomes between $50,000 to $100,000 also have lost coverage.
“In other words, it can happen to anyone,” Obama said.
Such lapses in coverage often result in poorer care. Research has shown that going without health insurance for even a brief amount of time reduces access to healthcare, negatively impacts health outcomes and increases the chances if financial devastation, the reports states.
The study tracked the insurance status of some 17,000 individuals from 1997 to 2006—a period when job were relatively less scarce. The most recent findings indicate a growing number of uninsured across the country, however.
The Treasury Department used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, or PSID.
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