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Phoenix, Arizona

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The Number of Uninsured Continues to Rise

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According to a recent article in the physician publication American Medical News, the number of Americans without health insurance has increased to forty-seven million people last year. By comparison, approximately thirty-eight million four hundred thousand Americans had no health insurance insurance in 2000. The American Medical News suggests that one of the reasons for such a large increase in the ranks of the uninsured concern employer benefit cutbacks:

“Overall, the picture is one of continual erosion of employer coverage that is now starting to squeeze the middle class,” said Karen Davis, PhD, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation dedicated to improving health care. “It’s very troubling to see this dramatic increase.”

Several reform suggestions advocated by the American Medical Association to use tax credits and vouchers to faciliate the purchase of health insurance sound promising. However, I cannot understand how uninsured or even insured consumers will benefit by other tort reform aspects of the American Medical Association advocacy agenda. I simply fail to see a coorelation between limitations on accountability for medical errors and access to health insurance and quality medical care.