Number of uninsured Americans dropped to 45.7m

New figures estimated that 45.7m Americans were uninsured in 2007 compared to 47m in 2006, according to the US Census Bureau.

Participation in government health insurance programs—which increased from 27 % in 2006 to 27.8 % in 2007—led to the decrease in the number of Americans lacking insurance, said the Census Bureau.

At the same time, the percentage of people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance coverage decreased to 59.3 % in 2007 from 59.7 % in 2006. These numbers do not reflect the downturn of the economy in 2008.

While the report shows a slight drop in the number of uninsured, it underscores the urgent need to expand access to health coverage, said the Consumers Union.

Adrienne Hahn, senior attorney for Consumers Union, said: ‘Nearly 46m Americans have no health coverage and remain vulnerable to financial disaster if a serious illness or accident strikes.’