IOM report on health insurance crisis: Having health insurance is essential for health and well-being. Safety net services, such as charity care and free emergency care, are not enough, according to a new report from the IOM. The 160-page report provides an independent assessment of published studies and surveys on the consequences of not having insurance. It presents new findings indicating that when a community has a high rate of uninsured residents, the financial impact on providers may be large enough to affect the availability, quality, and cost of services for everyone, even people who have insurance. In 2007 nearly one in ten children and one in five nonelderly adults had no health insurance. The average amount employees paid per year for family coverage in an employer-sponsored plan rose from $1,543 in 1999 to $3,354 in 2008. The report calls on the President and Congress to begin efforts immediately to achieve health coverage for all Americans by 2010. America's Uninsured Crisis: Consequences for Health and Health Care, which was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was written by a committee of experts in medical care, emergency medicine, health policy, business, economics, and health research. It is available from the National Academies Press www.nap.edu. A podcast of the public briefing held to release thiereport is available at nationalacademies.org/podcast.