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America’s Uninsured Crisis: Consequences for Health and Health Care
FIGURE 1-1 Comparison in the percentage of nonelderly adults without health insurance, by state, 1999-2000 and 2006-2007.
SOURCE: The Commonwealth Fund (2008). Reprinted, with permission, from The Commonwealth Fund, 2008. Copyright 2008 by The Commonwealth Fund (http://www.commonwealthfund.org).
13 states (Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming), the percentage of nonelderly adults without health insurance ranged from 19 to 23 percent. Only 10 states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin) had uninsurance rates for nonelderly adults below 14 percent. As described in this report, rising health care costs, stagnant family incomes, fiscal pressures on state budgets, and increased unemployment are likely to drive further coverage declines (Baicker and Chandra, 2006; Chernew et al., 2005; Cooper and Schone, 1997; Holahan and Cook, 2008).
With a new administration and a new Congress, many citizens, policy makers, and opinion leaders anticipate renewed energy and interest in finding a way to reverse the erosion of health insurance coverage and, ultimately, to expand coverage to all in the United States (Blendon et al., 2008; Bodaken, 2008; Lake et al., 2008; McInturff and Weigel, 2008; Oberlander, 2007).