WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the number of
uninsured people in the U.S. reportedly decreased in 2007, the estimates
released by the U.S. Census Bureau today were captured before the economic
downturn took hold, before energy prices skyrocketed and when the States
Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) appeared to be slated for
expansion and reauthorization.
"The news today that 45.7 million people are uninsured, 1.3 million
less than in 2006, while positive, should not be viewed as current progress
toward solving this crisis," said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and CEO
of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). "The U.S.
economy was in better shape when this data was collected and states were
expanding enrollment of low-income children in Medicaid and SCHIP."
Sr. Carol added: "Since then, SCHIP expansion has been vetoed twice,
the housing and banking crises have created huge economic problems and
there has been an abrupt rise in oil costs with serious economic fallout.
In 2008, we have seen massive layoffs in many diverse industries.
"In 2007, the insurance data was already demonstrating a decline in the
number of people who had private insurance and the number who had
employer-based insurance. Given the current economic downturn, we can only
assume the number of people insured in the private sector has continued to
"Current economic realities underscore the need for comprehensive
health care reform worthy of our country. Whether it is the poor or the
stock market or anything in between, all are suffering from our failure to
enact real health reform.
"Remember, 45.7 million of our family members, neighbors and friends
were uninsured in 2007. This is tragic by any standard. It represents
untold suffering by many hardworking Americans that we as a nation can and
should respond to. We must bring all stakeholders to the table and work
together to develop a reform plan that is compatible with our national
values and protects the dignity of each and every person in this great
nation," Sr. Carol said.
SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States