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"Cover the Uninsured Week" in NH: 150,000 Without Coverage

April 28, 2008

Concord, NH - Doctors, churches and voters in New Hampshire say more people are losing their health insurance coverage every day. It's national "Cover the Uninsured Week," and organizers say more than 150,000 New Hampshire residents are in exactly that situation. That's as many people as live in Manchester and Concord combined, and 16 percent more than last year. Concord physician Gary Sobelson adds, they're not who you'd expect.

"The uninsured in our society are not the poor; in fact, the poor are covered under Medicaid. And they're not necessarily the chronically and severely ill, because they're often covered by the Medicare system. It really is about our children and our neighbors, and it's hard to ignore this and say it's about somebody else."

Steve Gorin, with the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, explains that lack of health insurance is often the reason that people wait too long before they seek care, even for serious illnesses.

"People without healthcare coverage are more likely to go without screenings that are needed. Between 2000 and 2006, nearly 400 people in New Hampshire, between the ages of 25 and 64, died because they didn't have health insurance."

Organizers report that nationwide, eight out of ten Americans without health insurance come from working families.
The data on deaths among the uninsured is part of a study by Families USA, which is available online at www.familiesusa.org.

John Robinson/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NH