Current estimates put the number of uninsured around 45 million and many individuals and families do not have adequate health care coverage.
Research shows that many people do not pursue coverage because they believe that they cannot afford it, despite the fact that most of these people do not know how much health care coverage costs. Affordable coverage is in fact available for many of these individuals, and free programs already exist to cover many more who cannot afford coverage.
Programs to assist individuals find affordable health care coverage:
In an effort to improve access to health care for the under and uninsured, federal stimulus funding has been set aside to assist community health centers across the country provide care free of charge or at a greatly reduced price. Federal funding will go towards both opening new community health centers and expanding centers already operating.
This money comes at a crucial time. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, community health centers and clinics have seen a sharp rise in the number of patients they serve as a result of the recession and the rising unemployment rate.
 Kaiser Family Foundation Fast Facts, October 7, 2008.
Research & Reports
- Videoed interviews
with INSURED cancer patients about gaps in coverage - Kaiser Family Foundation
- RAND corporation
The RAND corporation released a study analyzing the House version of the health reform bill. By using a simulation model, they estimate that by 2019, the number of uninsured will be reduced to 24 million, a 56% decrease, at a cost of about $1 Trillion. The simulation also projected the cost and effectiveness of the individual mandate, insurance premiums, and the public option. To view the report click here.
The CDC released a new report detailing updated statistics on the uninsured. The CDC's report can be viewed here.
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement - Reducing Avoidable Emergency Department Visits
- The Urban Institute - Who Uses Emergency Care and Why?
Urban Institute Study examines the Massachusetts experience - Who Uses Emergency Care and Why?
- The Urban Institute - Variation in Access to Care for Low Income Children with Public Coverage: Baseline Findings from the 2002/2003 Los Angeles County Health Survey
- The Urban Institute – The Impact of the Los Angeles Healthy Kids Program on Access to Care, Use of Services, and Health Status
- The Urban Institute – Access to and Affordability of Care in Massachusetts as of Fall, 2008: Geographic and Racial/Ethnic Differences
- Health Affairs
Access and Affordability: An Update on Health Reform In Massachusetts, Fall 2008 (subscription required).