Americans Are Watching Health Insurance Coverage Slowly Slip Away
It appears that more Americans will be losing their health insurance in the weeks and months to come as long as the economy continues to weaken. According to information provided by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the weakened economy, in addition to fewer employers offering coverage and health care becoming more expensive, is drastically reducing the number of insured Americans.
More Americans Uninsured
In 2007, there were 45.7 million Americans without health insurance, according to the U.S. government. This number represented 15% of the population. Unfortunately, with the decline in employer-provided insurance, which was once the cornerstone of private health coverage, these numbers are expected to rise.
Many uninsured Americans have tried to rely on charity care and hospital emergency room visits to manage day-to-day medical issues, while others simply choose to avoid getting treatment for fear of the expenses that will accrue. According to the institute, this practice is undoubtedly hazardous to ones health, and often results in larger bills due to escalated medical issues.
The Proposed Health Care Solution
The institute has created a panel to urge the White House and Congress to take the steps necessary to secure insurance for all Americans. The good news is as recently as the end of February, President Obama announced his plans to discuss health care goals, including reducing health care costs for Americans. This discussion will take place at a summit on health care at the beginning of March.
While strong attempts are being made to improve insurance possibilities, the lingering recession coupled with rising health costs and increases in unemployment are threatening to drastically reduce the number of insured Americans. And with public health care programs also threatened, the process of getting everyone insured as desired may take longer than once hoped.