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NCHC Writer
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Press Releases
September 29, 2003
Pat Schoeni, NCHC (202-638-7151)

Statement by Dr. Henry E. Simmons, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.
President, National Coalition on Health Care

The Census Bureau now reports that the number of Americans without health insurance increased by 2.4 million in 2002—to a total of 43.6 million.

That’s the biggest one-year rise in the number of uninsured since 1992.

It means that another 2.4 million adults and children are living in physical and financial peril, with lower life expectancies and more pain and suffering than their neighbor.

It’s time for political leaders in both parties to commit themselves to policy changes that will assure health coverage for all Americans.

Otherwise, as health insurance premiums continue to increase at about 14 percent each year, the number of Americans without insurance will continue to climb.

The National Coalition on Health Care projected, in a report issued this spring, that premium increases will drive the number of uninsured up to between 51.2 to 53.7 million by 2006.

The National Coalition is the nation’s largest alliance of organizations working for system-wide health care reform. Our members – which include many of America’s largest companies, unions, associations of health care providers, pension funds, health plans, consumer groups, and religious organizations – employ or otherwise represent approximately 150 million Americans. Our honorary co-chairmen are former Presidents Carter, Ford, and Bush. Our co-chairmen are former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray and former Congressman Paul G. Rogers.

Our members stand ready to work with political officials in both parties to achieve health coverage for all Americans, constrain health care costs, and improve the quality of care.

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