For Immediate Release
Public Health Programs Responsible for Dip in Uninsured Rate Says APHA, Urges Strengthening Medicaid and Medicare
Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, Executive Director
Washington, D.C., August 26, 2008—“While we welcome news today from the U.S. Census Bureau that the number of uninsured Americans has declined, the picture is not all rosy. Yes, the number of people without health insurance has decreased from 47 million in 2006 to 45.7 million in 2007, but it’s the government public health programs that are picking up the slack.
New census data show that enrollment in the Medicaid and Medicare programs increased by more than 2 million while employer-based coverage stayed the same. Thanks to these public health programs, tens of millions of Americans can access the care they would otherwise be denied.
And now, given the economic downturn, we especially urge Congress to protect the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and we call for increasing Medicaid funding to the states to protect vulnerable Americans, which has also been shown to provide an economic stimulus.”
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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.