California Data Shows Lack of Health Insurance Strongly Effects Middle Class
According to data compiled by the California HealthCare Foundation, approximately 75 percent of the uninsured individuals in the state live in a home that reported a combined income of more than $50,000 in 2009.
As unemployment numbers remain high through the lingering recession, more and more Americans have no health coverage because they have no job. It is no longer accurate to assume that only the poor suffer from lack of health insurance. The problem has now solidly moved into the working class.
Over the past ten years, the percentage of uninsured individuals has almost doubled, with the largest increase found in homes that have an average annual income of $50,000 to $75,000.
Anthony Wright, the executive director of the consumer health advocacy group, Health Access California, said, “It’s exactly the trend that’s been driving the conversation around health care reform. As this has become a real crisis in the middle class, it’s required a bigger fix, which is why the big push for a federal health law.”
Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March, has begun to take effect in limited ways, the number of uninsured Americans continues to grow and is likely to continue to do so. It is now estimated that nationwide, 50 million Americans have no health insurance, with 7.2 million of those individuals living in California.
Most economic experts are in agreement that until there is significant job growth in segments where the position carries benefits that include health coverage, this problem will continue. It’s a grim fact that almost two-thirds of bankruptcies in the U.S. are attributable to medical debt, with more and more Americans now living one medical crisis away from financial ruin.