The number of Americans without health insurance topped 50 million for the first time last year, according to new Census Bureau data. (The poverty aspect of the report generated the most headlines.) The number of uninsured surged 16.7% to 50.7 million in 2009 as workers lost their jobs, employers slashed benefits, and families trying to make ends meet cut coverage. President Obama's health care reform program aims to insure another 32 million Americans, but it won't kick in fully until 2014.
"Eventually, more people will be covered if everything goes the way it should starting in 2014," the president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents big employers, tells USA Today. "But that's four years away, and there's going to be a lot of financial pain and economic burden before 2014." The census report found that workers now pay 47% more for family health coverage than they did in 2005, while employers pay 20% more. More news on our health insurance troubles here.