President Barack Obama has made reducing the number of Americans without health insurance a centerpiece of his health reform efforts, and a new poll highlights those concerns: 86.7 million people under 65 went without coverage at some time during the past two years, according to an advocacy group's report released Wednesday.
Gleaning data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and its Survey of Income and Program Participation as well as from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Families USA, a nonprofit health care reform group, said that the figure represents one of every three Americans under age 65, according to United Press International. Of all those uninsured, 60.2 percent were without coverage for nine months or more, and almost 74.5 percent were uninsured for six months or more, the group found. And, more than half of families with incomes between $21,200 and $42,400 a year -- 52 percent of them -- went without insurance in 2007-2008, the report said.
The report also warned that four of every five uninsured Americans are from working families and face even greater risks in a slumping economy: As more and more workers get laid off, they may lose their ability to keep health coverage.