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Article
April 7, 1989

pulse: THE MEDICAL STUDENT SUPPLEMENT OF JAMA

JAMA. 1989;261(13):1973-1980. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420130141040
Abstract

CHAIRPERSON'S COLUMN  The number of medically uninsured people in our country is growing at an alarming rate. An estimated 37 million Americans are now uninsured, a 25% increase since 1980.1 Not all uninsured people are poor or unemployed. Nearly two thirds of them are members of families with incomes above the poverty level; more than two thirds of uninsured adults belong to the labor force.2 One recent study3 reported that the uninsured make fewer visits to physicians or hospitals than insured individuals.Several proposals have been put forth to address the problem. An example is Enthoven and Kronick's4 system in which employers would be required to cover all full-time employees and to pay an 8% payroll tax on the wages of all uncovered employees. A public sponsoring agency would be created to provide coverage for the otherwise uninsured. One physician's group proposes comprehensive coverage5

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