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50 Million Uninsured: The Faces Behind the Headlines

Friday, October 14, 2011

According to figures released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau, some 50 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2010. That number is almost a million higher than for 2009, though the percentage of people uninsured remained largely unchanged. 

Employer sponsored insurance continued to decline in 2010. At the same time,  one million young adults gained coverage and more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promises to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, but its main provisions do not take effect until 2014.

Who are the uninsured? Why do so many Americans lack coverage? What are the trends in coverage among different segments of the population, and where are these trends heading? What does the high number of uninsured Americans mean for health care costs and the health care system?

These questions and more were addressed at an October 14 briefing cosponsored by the Alliance and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Panelists were: Kate Baicker, Harvard University; Rachel Garfield, the Kaiser Family Foundation; John Holahan, the Urban Institute; and Kirk Calhoun, the University of Texas at Tyler, chairman of the board of the National Association of Public Hospitals. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Diane Rowland of the Kaiser Family Foundation moderated.


 Diane Rowland, Kaiser Family Foundation, Moderator
 Rachel Garfield, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Speaker
 John Holahan, The Urban Institute, Speaker
 Kirk Calhoun, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Speaker
 Katherine Baicker, Harvard School of Public Health, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/14/2011
Event Summary: Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 10/14/2011
Full Webcast/Podcast: 50 Million Uninsured: The Faces Behind the Headlines

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Garfield Presentation (PowerPoint), 10/14/2011
Calhoun Presentation (PowerPoint), 10/14/2011
Holahan Presentation (PowerPoint), 10/14/2011

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Materials List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 10/14/2011
Sourcelist (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 10/14/2011
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 10/14/2011
Speaker Bios (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 10/14/2011
Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance For Health Reform, 10/14/2011

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Census Numbers: The Safety Net Is Working, Health Affairs Blog, 9/15/2011
- Aaron, Henry
Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1/20/2011
The Effects of Medicaid Coverage- Learning from the Oregon Experiment, The New England Journal of Medicine, 7/1/2011
- Baicker, Katherine and Amy Finklestein
Young Adults Seeking Medical Care: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter?, National Center for Health Statistics, 1/1/2011
- Bloom, Barbara and Robin A. Cohen
Mixed Signals: Trends in Americans’ Access to Medical Care, 2007-2010, Center for Studying Health System Change, 8/1/2011
- Boukus, Ellyn and Peter Cunningham
Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2011, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9/1/2011
- Cohen, Robin A. and Michael E. Martinez
Who are the Uninsured Eligible for Premium Subsidies in the Health Insurance Exchanges (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Center for Studying Health System Change Research Brief, 12/1/2010
- Cunningham, Peter J.
Five Facts About the Uninsured, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 9/1/2011
Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2011 Current Population Survey, Employee Benefit Research Institute, 9/1/2011
- Fronstin, Paul
Why Do You Care Whether I’m Insured?, National Center for Policy Analysis, 10/5/2011
- Goodman, John
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, U.S. Census Bureau, 9/1/2011
Census Numbers: The Trend Toward Government Coverage Continues, The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation, 9/14/2011
- Owcharenko, Nina
Young Adults Make Gains in Health Insurance Coverage, The New York Times, 9/21/2011
- Sack, Kevin
Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/14/2011
Table HI06. Health Insurance Coverage Status by State for All People: 2010 (Excel),U.S. Census Bureau, 9/1/2011
The Uninsured: A Primer, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 10/1/2011
The Value of Health Insurance: Few of the Uninsured Have Adequate Resources to Pay Potential Hospital Bills (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Research Brief, 5/1/2011
When a Community Has a Higher Rate of Uninsured Residents, Does That Affect Care for Those With Insurance? (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/19/2011


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