Health Insurance

The number of Americans without health insurance rose to a record 47 million, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday. Among children, the situation was even worse. Almost 12 percent of people younger than 18 had no health insurance in 2005. It was the second year in a row when the number rose. The new figures add fuel to a debate over Bush administration plans to limit enrollment in the popular Children's Health Insurance Program. Under new eligibility restrictions that Sen

The number of Americans without health insurance rose to a record 47 million, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday. Among children, the situation was even worse. Almost 12 percent of people younger than 18 had no health insurance in 2005. It was the second year in a row when the number rose. The new figures add fuel to a debate over Bush administration plans to limit enrollment in the popular Children's Health Insurance Program. Under new eligibility restrictions that Senator Bernie Sanders will fight to undo, coverage for more than 2,000 of the 3,000 children enrolled in Vermont's Dr. Dynasaur program is in jeopardy.

The Senate and House have passed separate bills that would increase funding and make it possible to enroll millions of children for coverage. Even before the administration issued new eligibility rules, the White House had threatened to veto the bills. Said Sanders, "We are the only major nation which does not provide health insurance for all children. Instead of throwing kids off health care, Bush should be working with us to cover more kids."

The main reason that 2.2 million more Americans lacked coverage was that more and more employers are dropping health insurance for workers. Altogether, 15.8 percent of Americans had no health insurance last year, an increase from 15.3 percent in 2005.

One in 10 Vermonters lacked health insurance.

To read a Vermont Press Bureau report on health insurance in Vermont, click here.

To read the Washington Post article on the latest Census Bureau report, click here.