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Ashley Boyd's picture

After reading bad news about the recession and the crisis of health coverage for months, it’s pretty difficult to shock me.  But today’s report about the dramatic spike in the number of uninsured in California over the last two years is truly shocking.

A report  released this morning by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research finds that 1 in 4 Californians under 65 years old – 8.2 million people – were uninsured in 2009. This represents a 19.5% increase in just two years.

In his blog, Anthony Wright rightfully warns: “The shocking increase in people losing insurance spotlights the problem that even for those of us who are insured, coverage may not be there for us when we need it.”

And, perhaps worst of all, our children are suffering disproportionately.  We now have 1.5 million children in California who are uninsured – an increase of 400,000 or 35%  in just two years.  Although it hasn’t been able to keep pace with the growing demand, California’s public programs – Medi-Cal and Healthy Families – now cover 5.6 million children who otherwise would not be insured.

In the face of this crisis, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed eliminating the Healthy Families program entirely and reducing Medi-Cal eligibility significantly.   Leaders in the California legislature are making decisions now about the Governor’s proposed budget cuts.

Please take a moment to urge them not to make any cuts to these vital programs when our families need them most:

Thank you!

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