As Congress debates, Gulf Coast Mississippi still uninsured

HANCOCK COUNTY — While Congress expects to keep debating over a national health care insurance plan after its August recess, thousands of people in this county and elsewhere in Mississippi are going with no health insurance protection at all.

Numbers released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau show Hancock County as the third-highest among Mississippi counties, and the highest of all the state’s coastal counties, in numbers of people who live without health care coverage. Of Hancock’s 34,394 residents included in a 2006 survey, 9,567 — or 27.8 percent — had no protection from high medical costs brought on by accident or illness.

Indeed, for many, a simple trip to the doctor for aches and pains could cost enough to make them even sicker.

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