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Researchers: More Are Uninsured

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Nearly 46 million people in the U.S. were uninsured in 2007, 9 million more than in 1994, when health finance reform efforts last gained momentum.

Researchers at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota have included those statistics in a new look at the uninsured released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J.

The percentage of U.S. working people who are uninsured has increased 18%, to 27 million, the researchers report, citing survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The percentage of nonelderly people with private health insurance fell to 67%, from 73%.

One bright spot: More children are covered by some kind of health insurance. Thanks to programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the number of uninsured children has fallen 13%, to 9.2 million.

The average cost of an individual insurance policy has increased about 79% during the period studied, while U.S. wages have increased just 10%, the researchers report.