One-Third of Uninsured Are Chronically Ill

"None of it is surprising," said Greg Scandlen, founder and director of Consumers for Health Care Choices, a nonprofit advocacy group for health-care consumers. "It is interesting that chronic conditions are more common among people with insurance than without. But that isn't surprising either. People with a chronic condition are likely to place a higher value on their coverage and work harder to get and keep it," he said.

"But having insurance is not likely to prove to be a panacea for these folks," Scandlen added. "People with chronic conditions who are insured are not doing so well, either. We do not do a very good job of delivering chronic care in this country for anyone."

The new findings corroborate those from a study published July 22 in Health Affairs, which concluded that access to care among uninsured, nonelderly U.S. adults with chronic conditions actually got worse between 1997 and 2006.

More information

There's more on the uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

SOURCES: Andrew P. Wilper, M.D., instructor in medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; Oliver Fein, M.D., president-elect, Physicians for a National Health Program, and professor, clinical medicine and public health, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York City; Greg Scandlen, Senior Fellow and Director, Consumers for Health Care Choices, Heartland Institute, Hagerstown, Md.; Aug. 5, 2008, Annals of Internal Medicine; July 22, 2008, Health Affairs

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