Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nearly 2 Million Californians Lost Health Insurance During Recession

Breaking news out of UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research: nearly one quarter of all Californians now lack health insurance.

According to the study released today, numbers have been rising across all sectors, and California's working adults were hit the hardest. To make matters worse, the cost of insurance skyrocketed with the unemployment rate.

As Gary Yates, CEO of the California Wellness Foundation, puts it, "Do they pay their rent or buy an individual policy? Few out of work Californians can afford to do both. As a result, many unemployed Californians may go without essential health coverage, increasing the health risk to themselves and their families and the costs of our emergency care system."

Between 2007 and 2009, the number of uninsured in California rose 25%. During the same time period, the Food Bank has witnessed a 45% increase in number of people served.

At the end of 2009, our fiscal year average was 236,560 people served per month, up from 163,184 in 2007. Many of the new faces were those whose unemployment benefits had run out and were seeking help for the first time in their lives.

There are many factors that lead up to the decision to seek food assistance, and at this point in history, the factors seem to be overpowering the safety-net. Day in and day out, we're providing nutritious food to people from all walks of life in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties who have been hit by this recession, and with your help, we'll continue to do it, despite whatever happens on Capitol Hill.

Easy ways to make a difference: