May 10th through the 16th is Cover the Uninsured Week.
There are nearly 44 million Americans living without health coverage - including 8.5 million children. In 2002, the number of people without health coverage increased by more than 2 million, the largest one-year increase in a decade. Unfortunately, the problem won't get better soon. Rising health care costs continue to undermine the ability of individuals, businesses and state governments to purchase health care coverage. Reversing this disturbing trend, elevating this issue on the national and local agendas, educating Americans about the problem and providing immediate assistance to the uninsured and small business owners are the goals of Cover the Uninsured Week 2004.
Some of the most influential organizations in the United States such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, and including more than 800 national and local organizations, as well as thousands of Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are working together to organize the second Cover the Uninsured Week to make the issue of the uninsured a focus of national discussion.
Cover the Uninsured Week staff will work in communities across the country with strong, diverse coalitions that will sponsor local activities, leading up to and during the Week as well as in the weeks and months to follow. From May 10-16, more than 1,000 events will be held in communities across the country, including health and enrollment fairs for uninsured Americans and health coverage seminars for small business owners. Prior to the Week, hundreds of faith communities and dozens of medical, nursing and other schools will organize events that will raise awareness and build interest in the issue and the Week.
With former Presidents Ford (R) and Carter (D) once again serving as Honorary Co-Chairs, Cover the Uninsured Week will involve a diverse group of organizations representing thousands of individuals in every sector of American society, including business owners, union members, educators, students, health consumers, hospitals, health insurers, physicians, nurses, faith leaders and their congregants, among others.
Cover the Uninsured Week will be launched at a national event scheduled for May 5, 2004, and will coincide with a powerful advertising campaign that will be seen and heard nationally and in local markets. Noah Wyle, star of the popular television show "ER," is serving as the campaign's national spokesperson. Noah will speak out on the issue at public events and appear in public service announcements. Other television and sports stars will join in the effort in communities across the country.
To learn more, visit www.CoverTheUninsuredWeek.org
or call (202) 572-2928. We can let millions of Americans live without health coverage, or we can do something about it.