The Census released its annual report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage for 2007 today. The good news is that there are fewer uninsured Americans — 45.7 million as opposed to 47 million the previous year.
But lest anyone think this means we can sit and twiddle our thumbs and not do anything about our rapidly degrading health care system, think again. More Americans are falling into our public safety net — the ones that are *always* in jeopardy during bad budget years.
The report shows:
- Private insurance: DOWN (67.5% from 67.9%)
- Employer-based insurance: DOWN (59.3% from 59.7%)
- Public insurance: UP (27.8% from 27%)
Medicaid (Medi-Cal here) increased by 1.3 million Americans.
Also of cheer — the number of children who were uninsured nationally also declined from 11.7% to 11%.
Of course, the gains of the past year that can be attributed to California could be wiped out as our budget impasse continues. Already, the Conference Committee budget would leave nearly 300,000 children without public coverage — such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families — by the end of three years.
Other cuts could also resurface, totalling more than 1 million uninsured by the end of the Schwarzenegger administration.