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Nathan Newman on March 13, 2006 - 11:38am
45.8 million Americans, or 15.7 percent of the population, lacked health insurance in 2004-- a number that is rising as more employers drop coverage for their workers. However, many states are taking action to reverse these trends and move towards the goal of providing health care for all Americans. This issue of the Stateside Dispatch gives an update on some of those initiatives.
The symbol for this health care problem -- although hardly the only actor -- has been Wal-Mart, a company where half their employees, 600,000 people, are provided with no health insurance by their employer and even those with company health insurance receive a bare-bones policy with high deductibles and large copayment fees. And many of those uninsured Wal-Mart employees end up burdening public hospitals' uncompensated care funds or state Medicaid rolls.