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New Census Data Show More Women Uninsured

More Women are Uninsured and More Children Relying upon Public Coverage Underscores Need for Health Reform

Washington D.C., Thursday, September 10, 2009

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The March of Dimes released a special report today prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau that shows that in 2008, more than 20 percent of American women of childbearing age—12.4 million—were uninsured. This data, which also includes the number of uninsured children under age 19, is compiled exclusively for the March of Dimes.

“The Census data reinforces that one of the ultimate outcomes of health reform by Congress should be the expanded access to coverage for all women,” said Dr. Marina L. Weiss, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs for the March of Dimes. “Uninsured women receive fewer prenatal services and report greater difficulty in obtaining needed preventive care than women with insurance.”

For children under the age of 19, those who are lacking insurance decreased for a second consecutive year. In 2008, there were 8 million uninsured children, down from 8.7 million in 2007. Of those who were getting needed coverage, nearly 30 percent of children were enrolled in Medicaid and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) indicating a growing reliance upon public programs.

“The March of Dimes is committed to working with the Administration and Congress on health reform legislation that will improve access to private coverage, Medicaid and CHIP so that every pregnant woman, infant and child can obtain comprehensive, quality health services, including preventive as well as specialty care,” said Weiss.

For the complete data highlights, click here.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit marchforbabies.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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