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New U.S. Census Data on the Uninsured Underscores Need for Expanded Coverage

Data released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau show that 48 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2012. The percentage of uninsured Americans declined slightly, from 15.7 percent in 2011 to 15.4 percent last year.

In a new blog post, The Commonwealth Fund's Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., David Blumenthal, M.D., and Tracy Garber explain that the early provisions of the Affordable Care Act—most notably, the option for young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance policies—have helped turn the tide in the decade-long growth of the uninsured. Increases in the percentage of people covered through Medicare and Medicaid have also helped to stabilize the uninsured rate. But the lack of marked improvement in 2012 underscores the need for the coverage provisions that are at the heart of the reform law.

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