MIAMI (CBS4) – A new study from the Kaiser Foundation is giving a grim view of the state of health insurance in the country as the new GOP leadership in the House of Representatives prepares to try and systematically dismantle health care reform.
According to the study, the number of nonelderly uninsured Americans stood at 50 million in 2009. That was an increase of 4.3 million people from the previous year. The reason behind the decline was believed to be the economic collapse of the Great Recession.
The 9.8 percent unemployment coincided with the increase of nonelderly uninsured Americans because the majority of that demographic receive health insurance through their employers. As jobs disappeared and firings increased, the uninsured population grew.
Nearly one-third of Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 years old now are uninsured. A total of nearly 20 percent of Americans now lack health care.
Overall, according to the Huffington Post, the number of uninsured Americans is now greater than the population of Spain.
Not only were the uninsured impacted, but the average annual premium paid by workers for health insurance rose 30 percent in 2010.
The study found that more than three-quarters of the uninsured come from working families and that four in ten of the uninsured are individuals and families who are poor (incomes less than the federal poverty line).
The Kaiser Foundation report also found that the lack of insurance is also preventing causing one-quarter of those without insurance from getting needed medical care in 2009.
In addition, in 2010, 27 percent of uninsured adults used up all or most of their savings paying medical bills. Nearly 50 percent of uninsured households had $600 or less in total assets, excluding cars and/or a house.
The cost of uninsured to taxpayers in 2008 also jumped to $57 billion in 2008 and 75 percent of the total ($42.9 billion) was paid by federal, state, and local governments, the study found.