Report: Without Healthcare Reform, Plight of the Uninsured Bleak

Coverage expansion remains top debate in legislation

Not everyone agrees. “Health reform can provide a stable source of affordable coverage for small businesses,” says Elise Gould, director of health policy research at the Economic Policy Institute.  “Small businesses have the hardest time providing insurance to their workers because they are in such a small market and there is not much competition so they don’t have much bargaining power with insurance companies.”

Gould also says that the new bill will reverse a trend of declining coverage for all Americans. Although employer sponsored health insurance coverage for the under 65 population declined for males and females alike and across race and ethnic classifications, racial and ethnic disparities in coverage persisted from 2000 to 2008, she explains.

“Often [African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans] are over represented in jobs where health insurance isn’t offered or the take up rate is low because of the costs. Doing nothing will just continue to increase what is already a very dramatic gap in who has insurance coverage and who doesn’t; who has access to preventative services and who doesn’t,” says Sebelius. “That cost differential is likely to increase dramatically.”

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