By Amy Simmons
President Barack Obama continues to make his case on the urgent need for health reform with a rally scheduled in College Park, MD this Thursday. New data also boost his argument for the growing need; the U.S. Census shows that not only the poverty rate has increased last year at the highest rate since the early 1990s, but also that the number of uninsured rose in 2008 to 46.3 million. In a recent meeting with representatives from the American Nurses Association, the President said, “[W]e know from more up-to-date surveys that since the recession intensified last September, the situation has grown worse. Over the last 12 months, it’s estimated that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled by nearly 6 million people — that’s 17,000 men and women every single day. And we know that during this period of time, the number of adults who get their coverage at the workplace has dropped by 8 million people.” President Obama also noted in his address to Congress that “every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone.” Certainly health centers working on the front lines of public health know this almost better than anyone and have felt the effects of the lingering recession. A recent analysis by NACHC shows that the average uninsured patient visits to health centers has increased by 21 percent. That why health centers are among those giving high marks to the President for his leadership on health care. Among them are the staff at the William F. Ryan Community Health Network in New York City. Check out their reaction to the speech in a recent New York Post article.