In an effort to cast health care reform as helpful to more Americans, President Obama on Saturday pounded home a new statistic: Nearly 50% of people under 65 have gone without coverage for at least one month over a decade.
“It can happen to anyone,” Obama said in his weekly address. “In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they’ll go without health insurance — not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law — they won’t.”
The new figure comes from a Treasury Department analysis of survey data collected by the University of Michigan. The data tracked health insurance coverage through phone interviews with some 17,000 individuals from 1997 to 2006.
It appears to be the first such analysis of its kind to look at the population of uninsured Americans over a lengthy period of time.