Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Speaking of the uninsured—children

No, she's no blood relation, but she is my sister.

Dear William Peter,

Yesterday you heard from us about the Census Bureau’s 2006 figures on poverty and health insurance status. Now, we’d like to tell you how the numbers spell out for racial and ethnic minorities.

As you know, the number of uninsured Americans rose for the sixth straight year in a row - to an amount that exceeds the cumulative population of 24 States and the District of Columbia.

The number of uninsured is now up to 47 million, the highest number of uninsured Americans in recorded history. This accounts for an increased 2.2 million more individuals who became uninsured from 2005 to 2006.

Racial and ethnic disparities persist: the rate of increase in uninsurance was higher for Blacks and Hispanic Americans. In 2006, 34.1 percent of Hispanics, 20.5 percent of Blacks, and 15.5 percent of Asians were uninsured, compared with 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. In total, nearly 25 million racial and ethnic minorities were uninsured in 2006.

Racial and ethnic minority children were also hit hard. Overall in the US, 8.7 million children were uninsured in 2006. This is an increase of 600,000 children since 2005. Among racial and ethnic minority children, 22.1 percent of Hispanic, 14.1 percent of Black, and 11.4 percent of Asian children were uninsured in 2006, compared to 7.3 percent of White, non-Hispanic children.

All of these numbers mean that more individuals from communities of color continue to lack the health care they need, which only exacerbates the disparities that exist between racial and ethnic minorities and whites. These numbers also emphasize the dire need for changes to occur within our health care system that expands health coverage to all Americans.

Please join us and thousands of other Americans in taking action to help alleviate the problem of the uninsured by signing this petition which urges Congress to support full funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), to provide coverage to millions of uninsured children and bring America closer to quality, affordable, equitable health care for all.

Thank you,
Briana Webster-Patterson
Program Manager, Minority Health Initiatives

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