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Expanding Coverage to the Uninsured

Challenges for the Low-Income Population

This testimony characterizes the growing number of uninsured Americans and the diminishing options for health insurance for a population in need. It details a disturbing picture of the steady erosion of job-based health coverage for low-wage workers coupled with the recent decline in Medicaid s role as a safety net for the low-income uninsured. Describing why insurance is an important policy and health objective, the latter part of the testimony assesses various proposals to broaden coverage including expanding Medicaid and developing tax-based approaches to make health care more affordable.

The testimony was offered by Diane Rowland, Executive Vice President of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Executive Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, before the House Commerce Committee s Subcommittee on Health and the Environment on The following testimony was offered by Diane Rowland, Executive Vice President of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Executive Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, before the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and the Environment June 16, 1999.