CDC debunks myths about the uninsured

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has debunked two long-held assumptions used by opponents of expanded health insurance coverage under the healthcare reform.

First, the poor aren't the only ones who are uninsured, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, according to Reuters.

"In fact, half of the uninsured are over the poverty level and one in three adults under 65 in the middle income range--defined arbitrarily here between $44,000 and $65,000 a year for a family of four--were uninsured at some point in the year," Frieden said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Second, the CDC report revealed that healthy people aren't the only ones who tempt fate and go without health insurance coverage.
More than two in five people who were uninsured at some time during the past year had one or more chronic diseases, Frieden said. Some 15 million people have high blood pressure, diabetes, or asthma, but don't have health insurance.

These people who suffer from chronic conditions and lack health insurance are more likely to skip care than insured counterparts. In 2009, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, adults with high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes were seven times as likely to skip needed healthcare because of cost if they didn't have health insurance, compared with their peers who had coverage.

To learn more:
- read the article and see the related charts from Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
- here's the CNN article
- read the Reuters story

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