That is not the most startling number from the latest Commonwealth Fund report.
It's that 61% of those people were insured.
The report, called Losing Ground, states plainly that health insurance policies are inadequate and are driving the American middle class into bankruptcy.
To avoid bankruptcy 45% of us are putting-off needed care, which just makes it more expensive, or foregoing preventive care that might avoid the problems altogether.
Here's another number. One third of us spent 10% or more of our total income on out-of-pocket medical expenses in 2007, and 30% of those with high income spent over 5% of their income on such expenses.
Lead author Sara Collins called this a "perfect storm" of trends impacting Americans during what was advertised as a period of economic growth.
But the political impact from this may, in the short run, favor Republican John McCain.
Why? Democrat Barack Obama told a town hall meeting that “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system."
“People don’t have time to wait,” Obama said. “They need relief now. So my attitude is let’s build up the system we got, let’s make it more efficient, we may be over time—as we make the system more efficient and everybody’s covered—decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.”
Liberals are applauding. Agree or disagree?