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Behind uninsured numbers, a diminishing sense of urgency

Health Affairs, September 25, 2012

After a summer of disappointing economic news, the recent Census report on the uninsured was a rare bit of sunshine. The number of uninsured Americans declined by about 3 percent, or 1.34 million, to 48.6 million in 2011. This was the largest one-year numerical decline in twelve years. There were "only" about 1.7 million more uninsured in 2011 than there were in 2006, before the devastating recession. The search for policy fingerprints on these findings points directly to Medicaid. For all the controversy over this program, the safety net did its job.