Tuesday, August 30, 2005

California Winning Race to the Bottom

Blue state--and home of Barbra Streisand, Kevin Spacey, Rob Reiner et al--California can't find affordable health insurance for its most vulnerable residents:

More than 6.5 million Californians under the age of 65—more than one in five—lack health insurance, according to the study that covers 2001-2003.

....The study, which was funded by the California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation, does not estimate additional costs to government for use of its programs.

Nowhere does the study’s message hit harder than in California’s racial and ethnic communities.

Non-elderly Latinos and American Indian/Alaska Natives report the highest rates of non-insurance. While 66.6 percent of non-Hispanic white workers report having employment-based health coverage, only 34 percent of Latino workers were similarly insured—the lowest rate among all groups.

....Shana Alex Lavarredo, the other author of the study, says the disparity in job-based health insurance is due to issues of citizenship, education, and lower-paying service, retail and restaurant jobs—all of which work against California’s Latino population.

....In Beverly Hills, there are 2,022 physicians for every 100,000 people....

...In Bell—a mainly Latino community about 20 miles away—there are 19 physicians for every 100,000 people.

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