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Report: Additional 4 million uninsured in 2010


Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of whom had conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials announced Tuesday.

Four million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008, Reuters reported.  

“Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a news briefing.

The findings have implications for U.S. health-care reform efforts. A bill passed in March promises to get health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who currently lack coverage.

However, Republicans who took control of the House of Representatives last week vowed to derail the new law by cutting off its funding, and some want to repeal it. Experts from both sides predict gridlock in Congress for the next two years that will prevent implementing the law’s provisions.

Even before the health-care reform act, Congress passed measures expanding free health coverage for children.

“As private insurance coverage fell, the safety net protected children, but did not adequately protect adults,” Frieden said.

Nine percent of adults lost private insurance, and public insurance picked up just 5 percent of those that lost coverage, the CDC said. Frieden said 22 percent of adults aged 18 to 64 are uninsured.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 for its report.

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