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March 1994, Vol. 117, No. 3
Laura A. Scofea
A pproximately 35.7 million people under the age of 65 were not covered by health insurance in 1990, according to the Current Population Survey, conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 2 million people since 1988.1 That increase, with rising costs for health care services, have intensified interest in reforming the health care system. Over the past few years, the Congress has introduced numerous bills designed to improve access to, and reduce the cost of, health care, and modify the tax treatment of health care benefits.
Among the proposals currently being considered to change the health care system are: establishing a national health plan and requiring all employers to provide health care coverage through regional health alliances. These efforts are directed at changing the current national health care system, which relies heavily on health insurance provided by employers.
In the late 1940's, BLS began regularly studying the incidence of health care benefits in various programs. In 1979, BLS began analyzing comprehensive information on health insurance it collected in the Employee Benefits Survey program. This article tracks the development and growth of employer-provided health insurance, from its beginning as a sickness insurance to its current form.
This excerpt is from an article published in the March 1994 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The Current Population Survey is conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tabulation of health care data from the Current Population Survey may be found in "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured, Analysis of the March 1991 Current Population Survey," EBRI Issue Brief Number 123 (Washington, Employee Benefit Research Institute, February 1992.)
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