News Release

Health Care: More Uninsured

QUENTIN YOUNG, M.D.
The national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, which today released an analysis of Census data figures, Young said: “The number of uninsured climbed by 833,000 to 44.3 million in 1998, according to data released by the Census Bureau. Though the Census Bureau claimed that children’s health coverage had not deteriorated, an analysis by PNHP reveals that the number of uninsured children rose by 330,300 in 1998, following rises of 188,000 in 1997 and 755,000 in 1996. Overall, the data show a clear and significant trend of deteriorating coverage among children. Since 1992, when President Clinton was elected, the number of uninsured children has increased by 2.7 million.”
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STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER
Associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Woolhandler wrote in last Thursday’s USA Today: “Bradley promises straight talk, fresh ideas and the courage to take on vested interests. But his health plan recycles ideas floated by Al Gore and, before him, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. [His plan] would deliver billions to insurance companies and HMOs. But it won’t deliver the universal health care that Americans deserve… The number of uninsured has increased by 6 million since President Clinton took office. Millions more have such poor coverage that a serious illness would bankrupt them. HMO patients are hurried out of hospitals and worried that care will be denied when they’re sickest and need it most. Seniors can’t afford drugs, and hundreds of thousands have been dumped by profit-hungry HMOs. As health costs rise, reaching over a trillion dollars this year, $250 billion goes to health-care bureaucracy and profits.”
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CHARLES ANDREWS
The author of Profit Fever: The Drive to Corporatize Health Care and How to Stop It, Andrews said: “The good thing about Bradley on health coverage is that he raised the issue. The bad thing is that he’s just shoveling money to private insurers instead of covering everyone in a single public plan.”

SARA NICHOLS
California director of Neighbor to Neighbor, Nichols is a former Washington, D.C., health policy analyst. She said: “Bradley has jump-started a national debate about health care and none too soon. Today’s numbers show that we have a growing crisis of the uninsured. We need to talk about how to cover everyone and about the fairest, most affordable options — not just focusing on what’s acceptable to the health insurance industry, as the Clinton plan tried to do. The Bradley proposal could have been written by the health insurance industry; that’s its biggest strength and its biggest weakness.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167