When things get worse…

Two California-specific reports came out this week on the uninsured, as noted by the Sacramento Bee and other papers, and they are sobering.

Families USA came out with a California-specific report, Americans at Risk, that showed a new light to the regular uninsured numbers. It’s commonly understood that the number of uninsured is in the 5-7 million range in California, 44-46 million nationally. But those numbers seem to imply that the uninsured are a self-contained, even if large, population–rather than the reality than being uninsured is a condition that anybody can fall into.

In fact, Californians are more likely to become uninsured than residents of all but a few other states. The studies looks at the uninsured over two years, and finds that over 12 million Californians, or 37% of Californians under 65, have been uninsured at some point in 2007-08. More about the research is reported by the Los Angeles Times, as well as public radio.

The UC Berkeley Labor Center also released a new health care study this past week: “No Recovery in Sight: Health Coverage for Working-Age Adults in the United States and California.” As reported in the Sacramento Business Journal article, the UC-Berkeley researchers calculated how many people in California have lost their health insurance during the current recession–500,000.

Even more distressing is that the researchers projected what would happen to health coverage rates as the economy recovers, and they found that even when the economy recovers from the recession, the number of people who are uninsured will continue to grow.

Certainly a compelling context for the Forum on Health Reform Monday, in Los Angeles, which is ground zero for the uninsured crisis nationally.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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