One in 50 million: Living without health care

Who are the roughly 50 million Americans without health insurance, and why don't they have it? The Missourian is giving voice to the stories of Boone County residents who live without the safety net of insurance. Check here to find all of the stories in our series.
Friday, October 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 4:31 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 16, 2009

COLUMBIA — As the health care debate rages on, a closer look at one of the catalysts for reform — the number of Americans without health insurance — sheds some light on how the current health care system impacts people's daily lives.

According to 2008 Census Bureau statistics, about 46 million U.S. citizens were without health insurance. With the recession, many experts are estimating that number to be rapidly approaching 50 million.

In Boone County alone, more than 21,000 people — or 14 percent of the population under the age of 65 — are uninsured, according to a county health assessment from 2007 and numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For a more complete look at the statistics and legislation of this debate, go to this story.

The Missourian is going to be telling the stories of Boone County residents who don't have health insurance. They're your neighbors and co-workers, but each is just one in 50 million.

Ferguson transfers custody to get daughter health coverage

Jodie Ferguson, 26, is one of thousands of Boone County residents without health care coverage. She survived leukemia when she was 12, but the disease left her unable to afford insurance. That meant making a difficult decision about her daughter. Read Ferguson's story here.

Sullivan seeks a job with benefits

Michael Sullivan, 23, reflects on the car wreck that hospitalized him, the birth of his son and the vulnerability of living without health insurance. Read Sullivan's story here.

Moore doesn't see need for coverage

Fergus Moore, 46, has chosen to live without health insurance for 15 years. He made the decision to go without after an insurance company agreed to pay for a surgery and then did not. Read Moore's story here.

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