Americans uninsured on the rise

Average Concentration of Uninsured People in America 2009
Average Concentration of Uninsured People in America 2009

An epidemic has swept across our nation. The number of people who are uninsured is over 13 million. There are about 1500 community care clinics across the United States. Many of those clinics will have their funding cut; if they even get government aid; many are funded on donations or private grants. Where do you turn when you’re ill and have no insurance?

At last count, there were 43 states that made Medicaid unavailable for adults with no children. Even if you didn’t have a dime to your name; without a child, you don’t qualify. In 27 states, even parents with children have a hard time getting help. The average family of four has to make less than 50 percent of the (federal) poverty level to qualify for assistance. That is just under one thousand dollars.  

Because of those severe limitations for eligibility only about one in four families qualified for Medicaid (or any other public aid). A study done two years ago showed that over 50 percent of unemployed and uninsured workers had incomes 200 percent below poverty. That’s over 50 percent of all unemployed and uninsured workers in every state.

This combination of being unemployed and not having health insurance puts millions of people at risk for being diagnosed with an advanced stage terminal illness; when they finally do seek medical care. Most of the people surveyed said they try to go to community clinics, or medical clinics that base fees on income. If those clinics aren’t available, they simply don’t seek treatment.

If they have children, typically, they will take the child to the hospital emergency room for any accidents or illnesses that seem to warrant immediate care. However, if the unemployed are not seeking health care when they’re ill, chances are, they will remain ill. Moreover, they may become even sicker. When the economy starts regenerating and creating more jobs; who will be healthy enough to go back to work?

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