Who are the uninsured? All of us, says Dr. Oz


As the numbers continue to mount, the face of the uninsured gets more and complex now that there are 45.7 million uninsured people in the U.S. The TV talk show host Dr. Oz put a face on the uninsured with a recent episode focusing on the uninsured. He traveled to Houston with the help of 700 volunteers and the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) to run a free clinic that saw 2,000 uninsured patients in a single day. The NAFC has 1,200 free health clinics as members with six million volunteers nationwide including doctors, nurses and administrative staff.

Many of those who joined the ranks of the uninsured in the past two years were people who had good paying jobs, but lost them along with their health insurance as unemployment climbs near 10%. The largest chunk of the uninsured are working families with incomes near or slightly above the poverty line for a family of four -- $22,025. The working poor make up two-thirds of the uninsured.

COBRA, a federal law that mandates employers must continue to offer group insurance to people who lose their jobs as long as they pay for it, is often too expensive for the newly unemployed. The federal government did try to help these newly unemployed by temporarily lowering COBRA payments, but that benefit may soon be lost.