Recession is Killing Health Insurance

February 20th, 2009

Recessions are bad for the health, and a new study shows that the nation’s current economic woes are downright sickening. Since the recession began some 4 million Americans have lost their health insurance, and as many as 14,000 people could be losing their health coverage every day, according to a report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. What’s worse, the report also indicates that at least half of those who lost their insurance coverage still are uninsured. Before the recession started there were an estimated 46 million Americans without health insurance. The report uses estimates from Urban Institute researchers that a one percentage point rise in the national unemployment rate causes 2.4 million people to lose employer-sponsored health coverage. Of those people, 1 million rely on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and 1.1 million end up uninsured. Since data was last collected in the spring of 2007, the unemployment rate has grown from 4.4 percent to 7.6 percent, and as a result, an estimated 3.5 million people have lost their health insurance and are now uninsured.

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