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Report: Time for California to Play Doctor

July 12, 2007

Almost nine million Californians are heading into work today at jobs where they can't get health insurance - a number that's been rising as more businesses drop coverage due to the soaring cost. That's according to a new report from the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego that also says the state legislature should do something to help. Marie Lopez with California Partnership says of the total number of Californians without coverage, it's notable that most have a job.

“Seventy-five percent of those folks are working families. We're not talking about folks who are unemployed. We're talking about folks who are working who don't have health care.”

The legislature is getting ready to vote on health care reform proposals and Lopez notes that hundreds or people were at the statehouse yesterday to talk about how the state can cure the health insurance crisis. One proposal would provide affordable, adequate coverage for everyone.

Lopez believes buying insurance through work is the only affordable option until the state offers other avenues.

“Trying to buy through the private market individually for your family is much more expensive when you go it alone, as opposed to purchasing it through a pool through your employer.”

The study is at www.onlinecpi.org.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - CA