Economists estimate that 1.1 million people lose employer-based health insurance for every 1 point increase in the nation's unemployment rate. By that calculation, more than 5 million people have lost health insurance since the current recession began in December 2007.

Nearly 3 million Americans lost their employer coverage during the 2001 recession and its aftermath.

The number of Americans with employer coverage peaked at 167.5 million in 2000 and never recovered from the subsequent recession. Today the number is about 160 million.

About 45 million Americans were uninsured in 2007, the latest year for which the U.S. Census has published data.