The Census Bureau came out with new data today, and it’s not pretty. California jumps from the 7th highest in the nation in uninsured rate–to 4th. Here’s Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert:
The new data, based on a 2006 survey, indicate that California has the nation’s fourth lowest level of medical insurance, with 21.3 percent of its residents under 65 years old lacking coverage – and recent reductions in Healthy Families and other state-sponsored medical care programs will, authorities say, push that number higher…
Only Florida, Louisiana and Texas have lower levels of health insurance, with Texas last at 27.6 percent uninsured. The Census Bureau data, which confirm earlier estimates by state officials and health care advocates, found that 6.8 million Californians lacked health insurance in 2006 out of 32 million Californians under 65. (Those over 65 are not counted because it’s presumed they have Medicare coverage.)
At the other end of the scale, just 9.4 percent of under-65 residents of Minnesota, 9.6 percent of those in Massachusetts, 9.8 percent of Hawaiians and 9.9 percent of Wisconsinites lack insurance.
Our uninsured rate will only get worse: these numbers don’t take into account the projected 500,000+ people who have lost coverage related to the recession in its first 18 months, nor the impact of the more recent budget cuts, including the closure of Healthy Families enrollment, denying coverage to up tp 900,000 children.
We need federal health reform, and fast.