Uninsured Hispanics Up 50% Last Decade in USA

submitted by: PNHP

Number of Hispanics lacking health insurance up 270,000 in USA
Number of Uninsured Hispanics Up 50% in Last Decade in the USA

Eight States Also Experience Increase in Uninsured Despite Slight National Drop Layoffs & Recession Expected to Increase People Without Insurance in 2002

New York City – While the number of persons without health insurance decreased slightly from 1999 to 2000, from 39.3 to 38.7 million people, not all groups benefited equally, according to Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, an internist at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

The number of Hispanics without health insurance increased by 270,000 between 1999 and 2000, according to an analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

“In addition to losing ground on coverage this year, Hispanics failed to benefit much from the small drop in the number of uninsured in 1999,” said Dr. Carasquillo. “Then as today, the majority of the increase in health benefits was among Non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanics did not receive their share of the benefits of the economic boom, and are likely to be hardest hit in the coming recession. Terrible disparity continues to grow.”

The Census Bureau’s methodology has changed recently. The best estimates are that during the economic boom from 1990 to 2000 the number of Non-Hispanic Whites without health insurance decreased slightly from 20.0 million people in 1990 to 18.9 million uninsured people in 2000.

In contrast, the number of uninsured Hispanics has increased by over 50% in the last ten years, from 7.0 million uninsured Hispanics in 1990 to 10.8 million lacking health benefits in 2000.

“The uninsured are disproportionately Hispanic,” said Dr. Salvador Sandoval, a family practitioner in Merced, California and a Board Member of Physicians for a National Health Program. “In 1990 Hispanics accounted for 20% of the uninsured. In 2000 they made up 28% of the uninsured. One-third (32.8%) of Hispanics have no coverage. More than ever, we need a national health program to ensure the right to health care for all, regardless of ethnicity, income, age, or employment.”

The percentage of people uninsured also increased in eight states: Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Washington. 22.6% of the population has no coverage in New Mexico – the worst ranked state in the country (although not statistically different from Texas).

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