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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 5, 2003
9:41 AM
CONTACT:  Families USA
Jennifer Laudano or Kati Anderson (202) 628-3030
Nearly One Out of Three Non-Elderly Americans Uninsured for All or Part of 2001-2002;
New State-by-State Report Finds That 75 Million People Were Uninsured in Last Two Years, Most For Very Long Periods of Time
 
WASHINGTON - March 5 - Families USA prepared a report for Cover the Uninsured Week (CTUW) that was released today by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the kickoff for CTUW. The Families USA report, based on Census Bureau data, found that 74.7 million Americans under 65 years of age - almost one out of three (30.1 percent) - were uninsured at some point during 2001-2002. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of these uninsured people were without health coverage for at least six months, and nearly one-quarter (24 percent) were uninsured throughout the two-year period.

The following is the statement of Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, concerning the report:

"The findings in this report should represent a sea change in the way we think about the uninsured. Now that almost one out of three non-elderly Americans experienced significant periods without health insurance, the uninsured problem is no longer simply an issue of altruism about other people, but it is also one of self-interest for us all.

"As the 75 million who were uninsured over the past two years reflect, working families are increasingly at risk of becoming uninsured - whether due to a pink slip from a job, unaffordable cost increases, or cutbacks in employer and public health coverage.

"With large and growing portions of the U.S. population becoming uninsured, we are moving towards a political tipping point that will require real and meaningful action to expand health coverage."

The report is available on the Families USA web site at www.familiesusa.org

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