government

Insurance mandate repeal could keep uninsured numbers high

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 3, 2011

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The national health reform law would not be nearly as effective at expanding coverage to the more than 50 million people who are uninsured without the law's requirement for nearly all individuals to have health coverage.

That's according to "Why the Individual Mandate Matters," an analysis released Dec. 21 by the Urban Institute and commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The health reform law is expected to reduce the number of uninsured to 22.1 million people, or 8.3% of the population, if implemented with the individual insurance mandate. If the mandate were eliminated and the remainder of the health reform law were implemented, the number of uninsured would decrease to only 40 million, or 15% of the population.

The calculation assumes full implementation of the act and the individual mandate based on 2010 figures, although neither will be fully in place until 2014.

The report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/01/03/gvbf0103.htm.

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