New Census data released today reveals that the number of uninsured increased to 49.9 million in 2010 from 49 million in 2009, while the uninsured as a percentage remained unchanged at 16.3 percent. The percentage of people covered by government health insurance increased to 31.0 percent in 2010 from 30.6 percent in 2009 and the percentage of people covered by private insurance decreased to 64 percent. Employment-based health insurance also fell to 55.3 percent in 2010 from 56.1 percent in 2009.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius points out that reform is already lowering the number of uninsured:
Today, a new report shows that the Affordable Care Act is working. According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey released today, there was a significant increase in the number of 18–24 year olds with health insurance in the U.S. over the past year.
The report showed that the percentage of young adults with insurance increased from 70.7% in 2009 to 72.8% in 2010. That translates into 500,000 more young people with insurance. We expect even more will gain coverage in 2011 when the policy is fully phased in.
Young people sometimes think they’re invincible, but it’s important for everyone to have insurance. One car accident, one slip in a shower, or one sudden illness can result in months or even years of health care bills that can bankrupt the average family if that son or daughter is uninsured.