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Covering the Uninsured

June 14, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 23
Can America afford to insure everyone?
By Keith Epstein

Introduction

Pediatrician Wilma Bausas examines Jonathan Valdez at a health clinic in El Paso, Texas. About 1.4 million Texas children are uninsured.  (Newsmakers/Joe Raedle)
Pediatrician Wilma Bausas examines Jonathan Valdez at a health clinic in El Paso, Texas. About 1.4 million Texas children are uninsured. (Newsmakers/Joe Raedle)

The United States is the only industrialized nation that fails to assure universal access to basic health care. Nearly 39 million people — mostly adults and children in wage-earning families — lack health insurance. Nor does holding onto a job guarantee coverage. Seven of every 10 Americans depend on their employers for their insurance, but in today's tight economy employers are chipping away at benefits, compelling employees to pay more of the cost and even eliminating coverage entirely. Four health-care proposals are being considered in Congress, but all would provide only limited benefits. Critics of universal coverage say the nation can't afford to insure everyone. But health-care advocates say the nation's piecemeal approach to insurance doesn't keep Americans healthy — and costs more in the long run.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Health Insurance
Sep. 21, 2012  Assessing the New Health Care Law
Jun. 11, 2010  Health-Care ReformUpdated
Aug. 28, 2009  Health-Care Reform
Mar. 30, 2007  Universal Coverage
Jun. 14, 2002  Covering the Uninsured
Apr. 16, 1999  Managing Managed Care
Apr. 12, 1996  Managed Care
Mar. 17, 1995  Primary Care
Nov. 23, 1990  Setting Limits on Medical Care
Oct. 14, 1988  The Failure to Contain Medical Costs
Aug. 10, 1984  Health Care: Pressure for Change
Apr. 08, 1983  Rising Cost of Health Care
Jan. 28, 1977  Controlling Health Costs
Aug. 09, 1974  Health Maintenance Organizations
Jun. 13, 1973  Health Care in Britain and America
Jan. 18, 1970  Future of Health Insurance
Jun. 20, 1962  Health Care Plans and Medical Practice
May 28, 1958  Health Insurance Costs
Feb. 17, 1954  Government Aid for Health Plans
Nov. 22, 1949  Compensation for Disability
Aug. 30, 1946  Public Medical Care
Jan. 25, 1944  Medical Insurance
Sep. 16, 1938  Health Insurance in Foreign Countries
Mar. 06, 1937  Toward Health Insurance
Jul. 09, 1934  Sickness Insurance and Group Hospitalization
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Employee Benefits
Health Insurance and Managed Care
Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid and Medicare
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