Census Bureau says number of uninsured has risen

In a move likely to give a nudge to mired-down healthcare reform efforts, a report from the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of people without health coverage in the country went up to 46.3 million in 2008, compared with 45.7 million in 2007.

According to the report, the number of citizens covered by private health insurance fell from 202 million to 201 million, and those with employment-based health insurance fell from 177.4 million to 176.3 million. The uninsured rate for native- and foreign-born people stayed about the same, with native-born persons at 12.9 percent, and foreign-born people at 33.5 percent. The number of uninsured non-citizens remained at approximately the same level, 44.7 percent uninsured.

Meanwhile, the number covered by government health insurance jumped from 83 million to 87.4 million. This isn't surprising during a recession, but definitely has negative implications for managing the budget for reform, as any dollars going to Medicaid put a drag on the Administration's attempts to finance its reform efforts.

For more data from the report:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece