Report details problems accessing care

About 9 million adults lost their health insurance over the past two years, according to a new report from a healthcare reform supporter.

Further, nearly three quarters of those who tried to purchase individual coverage in the past three years – about 19 million people – faced significant hurdles, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The healthcare advocacy’s group biennial survey identified other problems plaguing individuals’ access to care.

About 52 million Americans were uninsured at some point in 2010, up from 38 million in 2001. More than half of lower-income adults went without insurance during 2010. Only a quarter of those who lost employer health insurance over the past two years were able to obtain other heath insurance, the report found.

People are also more likely to go without needed care. About 75 million adults avoided receiving care in 2010, up from 47 million in 2001. Even some of those with insurance (31 percent) went without care in 2010 because of the cost, up from 21 percent in 2001.

Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis said the report builds the case for the sweeping healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago.

“This survey tells a story of millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the recession, lost their health benefits too, and had essentially no place to turn for affordable health care coverage — putting their health and financial security at risk,” Davis said. “The silver lining is that the Affordable Care Act has already begun to bring relief to families. Once the new law is fully implemented, we can be confident that no future recession will have the power to strip so many Americans of their health security.”