A smaller share of Americans have health insurance than in 2008, according to new findings in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a 13-item measure of the access Americans have to basic necessities.
In June of this year, 82 percent reported having health insurance, compared to 85 percent in June 2008. In addition, fewer Americans have a personal doctor, and fewer visit the dentist regularly. This year, only 78 percent reported having a personal physician, versus 80 percent two years ago; 64 percent said they visited the dentist annually, compared to 65 percent in 2008.
The only significant improvement in the index was Americans' access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. This year, 91 percent said they had such access, compared to 88.5 percent in 2008.
Overall, the basic index score was 82 in June, only slightly higher than the low of 81.5 in February and March of 2009, and more than two points lower than the highest measured point of 84.1 in October 2008.
The findings are based on 29,000 interviews of American adults conducted each month from January 2008 through June 2011.