According to a study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly 20 percent of workers in the U.S. are uninsured reports the Associated Press. In the mid-1990s, about 14 percent of workers-or one in seven-did not have health insurance.
The main cause for such high uninsured rates has been cost. According to the study, premiums are rising six to eight times faster than corresponding wages, making coverage virtually unaffordable. Currently, about 26.9 million workers are uninsured. Twenty percent of the working age population is uninsured in 14 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas), up from just eight states a decade earlier.
Despite those numbers, income and payroll taxes continue to pay for healthcare coverage for the poor, the elderly and children of low-income working parents.
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, thinks that the healthcare system in the U.S. is on the brink of collapse, and needs to be overhauled sooner rather than later. "I don't think we can delay action beyond this year," she said.
To learn more:
- here's the Associated Press article