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US Census computer glitch over-estimates health uninsured Americans

By Layer 8 on Fri, 03/23/07 - 12:08pm.

Those damn computer glitch grinches were at it again. This time they struck the US Census Bureau who today restated its numbers on the numbers of Americans without health insurance. In a nutshell, the agency lopped off 1.8 million from the government's list of the medically uninsured - not because they now have health coverage but because of you guessed it - a computer systems error. It was a pretty good one too because the agency said the glitch has been in the system that for at least 10 years.

So while it has reissued figures for 2005 and 2004, the bureau plans to issue new numbers in August for every year going back to 1995. Specifically the Census Bureau said: The instrument used to administer the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) has been undergoing a conversion to a more modern operating system."

No word on what operating system it was however. And by the way, the number of people without health insurance is still pretty darn scary even with almost 2 million people subtracted: The revised estimates show that 44.8 million people, or 15.3% of the population, were without health insurance in 2005. The original estimate was 46.6 million, or about 15.9 % of the population.