As Congress debates health reform repeal, ranks of uninsured reaches 16.4%

On the eve of the U.S. House vote on repeal of health care reform, Gallup reports that 16.4 percent of American adults were uninsured in 2010, up from 14.8 percent at the start of the recession in 2008.

During the same period, those getting insurance coverage through their employers declined from 49.2 percent to 45.8 percent, while those relying on government for coverage increased from 23.4 percent to 25.3 percent.

Groups most likely to be uninsured included Hispanics (38.9 percent), those earning less than $36,000 (29.7 percent) and young adults ages 18 to 26 (28 percent). That last group should benefit from the health care reform bill’s provision that extends coverage of dependents until age 26, but for many plans the change did not take effect until late September.

(Telephone survey of 340,834 adults conducted throughout 2010; MOE +/- 1 percentage point.)