Shocking Numbers: 8.2 Million Uninsured in CA!

As reported by Duke Helfand of the LA Times, there’s shocking figures about a *huge* increase in the uninsured. Nearly 2 million Californians lost their health insurance from 2007 to 2009, largely due to a deep recession and mass layoffs.

New estimates from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research show a 25 percent increase in the number of uninsured since 2007, when 6.4 million Californians lacked insurance, according to the authors of the new policy brief, Number of Uninsured Jumped to More Than Eight Million from 2007 to 2009.

The shocking increase in people losing insurance spotlights the problem that even for those of us who are insured, coverage may not be there for us when we need it.

Today, nearly one-quarter of all adult Californians lack coverage and the number of uninsured increased among all age groups, even among children, despite their better access to public health insurance safety-net programs. The hardest hit, however, were California’s working adults. The recession of 2008-09 reduced those percentage of those getting job-based coverage to less than 50 percent for all Californians under 65.

Although public coverage among Californians increased slightly from 15% in 2007 to 16% in 2009, this did not offset the decline in employment-based insurance, as public programs had in previous years, especially for children. Yet the situation could get worse: the Governor’s budget proposes to eliminate coverage for hundreds of thousands –and without federal reform and resources, over two and a half million more Californians.

The overall UCLA report is shocking and sobering, and should be required reading, especially for any Representative thinking about voting against health reform this week.

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

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