Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Report: Ranks of uninsured to swell without health care reform

Sacramento Business Journal::

About 3.7 million working-age adults have already lost insurance due to the recession and 500,000 more will become uninsured over the next four years if there are no changes in health policy — even if the economy recovers, according to a new report by researchers at University of California Berkeley.

Growing numbers of uninsured will mean higher costs for financially strapped cities and states, decreased productivity and earnings, and higher costs for employers and individuals who do have coverage, concludes Ken Jacobs, primary author and chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

About 500,000 working-age Californians have lost insurance since the recession began a little over a year ago, for a total of about 6 million uninsured. An additional 100,000 will lose insurance by the end of 2012 without health care reform, even if the economy bounces back to pre-recession levels, he said.

Total numbers will be higher because the estimates do not include children or the elderly. The report uses data from the March supplement for the Current Population Survey conducted by the Census Bureau.

Released as Congress debates health-care reform initiatives in President Obama’s proposed federal budget, the report documents what could happen if significant policy changes fail.

If the auto industry or other significant segments of the U.S. economy go down, the landscape will be much worse, Jacobs said.

No comments:

Post a Comment