The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued statistics on the percentage of persons younger than 65 years without health insurance in the United States. These statistics appear in the April 22, 2005, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and are available online at:http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5415a4.htm.
According to the CDC report, 16.5 percent of persons younger than 65 years lack health insurance. Of these, approximately one fourth have never had health insurance and one fourth have been without health insurance for more than 36 months. Being without health insurance is linked to reduced access to preventive health care and less consistent care for chronic health conditions.