Data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau on income, poverty and health insurance coverage revealed that 49.9 million Americans are uninsured, a slight increase from 49 million in 2009.
According to Alan Baker, interim executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA):
"Too many Americans lack health insurance. It's a tragic situation exacerbated by slow economic growth, a high rate of unemployment and a broken health system that is still not meeting the health needs of our nation."
One of APHA's deepest concerns is the alarming decline of working Americans who have employer-based health insurance. New data reveals that only 55.3 percent have health coverage through their employer compared with 56.1 percent in 2009.
Baker proceeded to say that since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, the United States has made tremendous progress in improving the delivery and financing of its health services. Because of this historic piece of legislation, countless Americans have already benefited from numerous life-saving provisions that are already implemented, such as the ban on excluding coverage because of pre-existing conditions and allowing children until the age of 26 to remain on their parents' health plan. He declared that the current situation is still critical, as 49.9 million remain to be without access to quality and affordable care.
Baker pledged on behalf of the entire public health community saying:
"APHA calls on Congress to fully implement and fund the main public health and coverage provisions included in the Affordable Care Act that take effect in 2014."
Written by Petra Rattue