Catholic Health Association: New Census Numbers Highlight Importance of Health Reform

Sep 16, 2010, 15:45 ET from Catholic Health Association of the United States

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), issued the following statement:

The news today that nearly 51 million people in the U.S. were uninsured in 2009 provides fresh evidence that health reform was a necessary and important step toward creating a system that works for everyone.

Last year saw a 9.4 percent increase in the number of people without health insurance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That translates to some 50.7 million individuals, a 9.4 percent jump from 2008. In addition, the Bureau concluded, 44 million Americans lived in poverty last year, an increase of four million over 2008.

This new data is not surprising given the toll the recession has taken on working individuals and families. For the first time since the Census Bureau has been reporting on the number of uninsured, however, we can look to the future with some hope because health reform will eventually enable 32 million people currently without any health coverage to obtain meaningful, affordable insurance.

As people across the country struggle to meet medical and other expenses, Catholic-sponsored hospitals and long-term care facilities will continue to serve their communities and all persons who seek our care and comfort, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. The Catholic Health Association and our members also continue to work closely with Congress, the Administration and other groups to ensure that health reform is implemented in a manner consistent with our values, particularly protecting human life and dignity.

The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry’s commitment to improve the health status of communities and create quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. The Catholic health ministry is the nation's largest group of not-for-profit health systems and facilities that, along with their sponsoring organizations, employ more than 750,000 women and men who deliver services combining advanced technology with the Catholic caring tradition. For more information, visit the CHA website at

SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States