Just to show you it isn’t only the unemployed who lack health insurance, one in five U.S. workers are uninsured, according to a study covered by the Associated Press.
A 2006-07 study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health-related philanthropy group, found nearly 1 in 5 workers was uninsured, up from fewer than 1 in 7 during the mid-1990s.
In Texas, 28 percent of workers lacked health coverage in 2006-07, the study found. That is an increase from 24.2 percent uninsured in 1994-95. Texas tied New Mexico for the largest percentage of uninsured workers in the study.
“We’re kind of a poster child for what happens when work doesn’t deliver access to health care,” said Anne Dunkelberg, the associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which is an advocate for low- and moderate-income families.
That lack of coverage ultimately affects Texas taxpayers because hospitals spend billions on care for the uninsured, Dunkelberg said.
Lynn Blewett, director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota, which conducted the research, said, “The thing I think is interesting is how many workers are newly uninsured.”
“In the last couple of years we’ve seen a deterioration of private health insurance,” Blewett said.
Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have shot up six to eight times that of wages, reported AP. Yet through payroll taxes and other federal and state levies, workers are paying to cover the elderly, the poor and the children of low-wage working parents.
President Obama has proposed spending $1.5 trillion over 10 years to expand health care coverage for everyone.