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Increase in Uninsured Makes Stronger Case for Health Reform

AMA comments on new Census Bureau uninsured number released today

For immediate release
Sept. 10, 2009

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
President, American Medical Association

“It’s no surprise that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled as the economy has shrunk this past year. For too many American families, losing a job also means losing health insurance. We can do better – 46.3 million uninsured is unacceptable for our great nation.

“Debating the precise number of uninsured should not be our primary focus; what's most important is that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health coverage. When people have health insurance they have access to the regular and preventive care they need to stay healthy.

“Physicians see firsthand the negative effects of living without health coverage. Many times uninsured patients delay getting care, often until it’s too late. Our nation’s 46.3 million uninsured patients live sicker and die younger. As Congress gets back to work, the plight of the growing number of uninsured should be front and center in the health reform debate.”

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Contact:

Leah Dudowicz
AMA Media Relations
312-464-4813