One in four Californians lack health insurance

March 15, 2010

Nearly one in four Californians under age 65 had no health insurance in 2009, according to a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. [Los Angeles Times]

California’s uninsured population jumped to 8.2 million last year, up from 6.4 million in 2007, marking the highest number of the last decade. The increase, experts say, stems from the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance.

The UCLA study found that among those over 18, one in three residents had no insurance for all or part of 2009. The number of uninsured children also grew to 13.4 percent.

California has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country, along with Texas, and other states with high unemployment.

The number of uninsured is keeping pace with the state’s growing unemployment rate, which was 12.3 percent last December, up from 5.7 percent two years ago.

This so-called insurance gap results in Californians putting off needed medical care and crowding into hospital emergency rooms, Hospitals and insurance companies typically pass those costs off on customers with insurance.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I agree that things are not good in the health care area I had a outpatient procedure done through my insurance the cost $10,000 my friend who has no insurance and paid cash had the same thing done the cost $800. So now I know why my premiums go up so much every year, However I pay them because I choose to have insurance when they show these statistics of these polls they really need to state how many people choose not to have insurance because they don’t think they need it at this time in their lives. I believe it would change their numbers so they don’t include them to pad the findings in their favor.

I absolutely agree. I didn’t have insurance a few years ago because I didn’t think I needed it and I wound up getting stuck with a bill for $25k for an outpatient procedure. I now have health insurance. It’s really not that expensive for one person. I realize it’s more expensive when people have families and preexisting conditions, but it is important to understand there are a HUGE number of people who don’t have insurance because they want to spend the money on something else, like a nicer car or house.

I worked in the healthcare industry for 6 years. What I witnessed was a staggering amount of waste, inefficiency, fraud, and exhorbitantly high salaries, all held together by a small number of rock-star physicians and dedicated nurses that comprised maybe 10% of the overall staff. Unfortunately these talented individuals strongly resisted the standardization methods we were trying to put into place, and I could hardly blame them because it meant putting more power into the hands of an administration which they generally and correctly perceived to be incompetent. The remainder of the medical staff simply tried to ride the reputation of the good ones, constantly whining about how hard they worked and how dedicated they were.

I have no solutions to offer, this is just what I observed. I suspect that involving the government is just going to add more regulations, paperwork, and inefficiency. I would like to see more direct contracting between patients and physicians, which I believe would require a change in some insurance laws. I also think that if the healthcare market was uburdened by so many regulations, that it would create more incentive for quality service. Right now once a doctor is in place it’s kind of like a teacher… unless there are adverse incidents the insurance company will just keep sending them patients. But just like any job, the vast majority of doctors are mediocre to begin with or don’t stay on top of advancements in primary care. Right now, the way people’s choices are limited by their insurance companies, and medical reviews are done via a confidential process, it’s really impossible for people to shop around for a doctor who will provide them the level of care they want at a price they can afford.

Although I am anti-state, I am open minded and would be willing to compromise though. I would be willing to accept 100% socialized government healthcare for everyone, and in exchange I want massive reductions in defense and law enforcement spending, as well as the legalization of drugs (in order to reduce drug-related crime). Since things don’t work that way and I know that the people doing the legislating are for the most part criminals, I expect that instead we will wind up with more wars and health care legislation that totally benefits politically-connected people and companies, provides lousy service, and increases the level of overpaid public service employees.

Any uninsured Californians is a crime, and these numbers are staggering. I wonder where Meg and Steven and Jerry are on our propose One Health Care movement. They should be hounded to support it.