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September 16, 2010 Thursday 10:23 AM EST
Number of insured drops for first time
By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer
The number of people with health insurance in the United States dropped for the first time in 23 years, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.
There were 253.6 million people with health insurance in 2009, the latest data available, down from 255.1 million a year earlier.
This marks the first time that a decline was noted in the number of people with health insurance since government started collecting insurance coverage data in 1987.
Between 2008 and 2009, the number of people covered by private health insurance decreased to 194.5 million from 201.0 million. The number covered by employment-based health insurance also declined to 169.7 million from 176.3 million.
The number covered by government health insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid climbed to 93.2 million from from 87.4 million.
The Current Population Survey is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
September 16, 2010