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Medicine and Public Policy |

Insuring the Uninsured: Will the 2004 Election Provide an Answer?

Thomas Bodenheimer, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Thomas Bodenheimer, MD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, Building 80-83, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110; e-mail, tbodenheimer@medsch.ucsf.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(7):556-561. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-141-7-200410050-00013
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A June 2004 report revealed startling new statistics on uninsured Americans (1). A total of 82 million Americans—1 of 3 people younger than 65 years of age—were uninsured at some point during 2002–2003 (1). Conducted by the well-regarded Lewin Group, the study found that two thirds of the 82 million were uninsured for 6 months or more, with half lacking coverage for at least 9 months. These figures, based on U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey data, are far higher than the commonly cited number of 43.6 million uninsured for the entire calendar year 2002 (2).

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