Blog | Thursday, September 16, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Ranks of the uninsured swelled with the recession

The ranks of the uninsured rose from 46.3 million (15.4%) in 2008 to 50.7 million (16.7%) in 2009, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among the findings:
--The number of people with health insurance decreased from 255.1 million in 2008 to 253.6 million in 2009, the first year since 1987 that the number of people with health insurance has decreased.
--Private health insurance decreased from 201 million people to 194.5 million people; employment-based health insurance decreased from 176.3 million to 169.7 million; government health insurance increased from 87.4 million to 93.2 million; and Medicaid coverage increased from 42.6 million to 47.8 million.
--In 2009, 10% (7.5 million) of children were without health insurance.
--Uninsured rates decreased with household income, from 26.6% for households earning less than $25,000 to 9.1% in households of $75,000 or more.
--The Northeast had the lowest uninsured rate, but all four geographic regions saw increases in uninsured rates.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-238, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
In case you missed it ...
Today, we know the role of Helicobacter pylori in ulcers, but in the 1980s, physicians thought they resulted from stress. Antacids made billions in profits, and patient were miserable because they were told it was all in their heads.

Slate interviewed Australian physician Barry Marshall, then an obscure researcher who came at the experiment sideways, noticed the correlation between bacteria and ulcers and then drank a cocktail of bacteria to prove himself right. He tells his story and how clash between evidence-based medicine and the medical establishment launched him to a Nobel Prize.