To help put this in perspective Kreidler listed the cities whose combined populations equal the new number of uninsured. They are: Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, Everett, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Yakima, and Port Angeles.
"As staggering as 876,000 uninsured sounds, this number does not include people with jobs, but whose employer no longer offers insurance, or those who drop coverage because they can no longer afford their employer's health plan," he added. "The rising number of uninsured has always been a moral issue, but today it's clearly an economic issue."
"Unfortunately, there are no easy answers," said Kreidler. "Today, we're launching a new web resource guide on our home page (http://www.insurance.wa.gov/). But I'll be candid, it's not enough. For many people there are no options. The only meaningful solution is health care reform."
Kreidler stressed that any successful reform must be universal and portable – not tied to employment. And it must include consumer choice and be built on the private system we have today.
"I'm hopeful Congress will deliver health care reform," he said. "But I'm not sitting back and waiting. I've been meeting with leaders in our nation's capitol and will continue to do so. Everyone needs to do their part. If we fail to act, we will see one million people living without health insurance in our state."