CARE FACT SHEET
the Uninsured and Underinsured are EVERYONES’ concern:
Uncompensated care for the uninsured in the US in 2001 cost $35
and those who have insurance share the burden of paying the bills
of the uninsured in order to keep open the hospitals we ALL use.
Premiums for employer sponsored health insurance rose at about
five times the rate of inflation and worker’s earnings since
the uninsured rely more on the emergency room we ALL wait longer
when we go to the ER.
Prescription drugs cost almost twice as much in the U.S. as in
other advanced nations.
The uninsured use fewer preventive visits and are more susceptible
to preventable health problems.
The Uninsured earn 10-30% less due to poorer health and effects
such as missed days of work, etc.
Businesses increasingly shift health to employees, and more employees
cannot afford it, which increases the number of uninsured.
much America Spends on Health Care:
Total U.S. spending on health care in 2004 is expected to reach
$1.8 trillion, 15.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (the highest
in the world), or $6,167 per person. 3
CEOs of the nation’s 11 largest for-profit Medicare HMOs
received an average salary of $15.1 million in 2002 (not including
unexercised stock options). 4
2000 the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the U.S. 37th
in the world for overall performance of its health care system
and 54th for fairness of its health care financing system. 5
on Health Coverage in the U.S.
One in six Americans under the age of 65 lacks health insurance
on any given day of the year.
Nearly one third of Americans have gone without health insurance
for at least one month in the last two years.
If your income is less than $60,000 a year, you have nearly 1:3
chance of going without insurance.
One third of Hispanic-Americans and one fifth of African-Americans
lack health insurance all year
What is Keeping Costs High and Access to Care Low?
In 2003, the drug lobby paid 637 lobbyists; more than one for
every member of Congress, to make sure it got what it wanted in
the Medicare drug bill. And they did!
The CEOs of the nation’s 11 largest for-profit Medicare
HMOs received an average salary of $15.1 million in 2002 (not
including unexercised stock options) 6.
drug companies in the Fortune 500 reported $35.9 billion in profits
in 2002, more than half of the total of $69.6 billion in profits
of the entire Fortune 500 7.
than one in five health care dollars goes to paperwork rather
than direct care in the U.S., making U.S. health insurance one
of the most complex and confusing in the world.
Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Covering the uninsured.
How much would it cost? June 2003.
2 The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research
and Educational Trust, “Employer Health Benefits, 2004 Annual
Survey,” Copyright © 2004 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation,
Menlo Park, California, and Health Research and Educational Trust,
Chicago, Illinois. All rights reserved. Available at: http://www.kff.org/insurance/7148/
, accessed September 12, 2004.
3 Heffler et al., Health Affairs, 2/11/04.
4 Families USA, June 2003.
5WHO. World Health Organization Assesses The World's
Health Systems. Press Release WHO/44, June 21, 2000
6 Families USA, June 2003.
7 Public Citizen, 6/23/03.