From NBC's Jade Taenzler
According to a report released today by the liberal Center for American Progress and also the group Health Care for America Now, 14,000 Americans are losing health-care insurance every day during this economic crisis.
Since the recession began, the report says, an estimated four million additional Americans have lost their health insurance and two million have become uninsured. "Forty-six million people in America did not have health insurance prior to the recession in 2007," Judy Feder, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said in a conference call with reporters today. "But with the recession, it got worse. The unemployment rate grew by 0.8 percentage points in December and January alone, implying that just in these two months nearly 900,000 people became uninsured."
Michael J. Wilson, legislative director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, sees the rising number of uninsured Americans impact other parts of the economy. "With 14,000 people losing health care every day, even people who still have health care are affected," said Wilson. "If people are desperately saving their money to pay for health care, they will not be able to spend money on food or other goods, which adds to the recent turmoil in the market."