Uninsured hits record 45.8M

The US Census Bureau released a new report on Tuesday which says the number of uninsured Americans has hit an all-time high. According to 2004 data, the number of people without health insurance rose 800,000 to 45.8 million. However, as a percentage of population the number was steady at 15.8 percent. In addition, the number with employment-based insurance continued to fall and is now below 60 percent. The government says the number of Americans living in poverty also increased, rising to 37 million in 2004 from 36.5 million in 2003. The new figures are considered likely to heat up the political fight over proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare programs, which have been increasing the number of people they cover.

- see this press release from the Census Bureau
- read the report (pdf)