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Boomers hit hardest by 'Great Recession'
Date:7/31/2013

est 1 percent decline in the number of uninsured people (ages 0󈞬), from 22.5 percent in 2007 to 21.5 percent in 2009. This was attributed in large part to the safety net provided by public programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.

"The safety net did its job during the Great Recession," Lavarreda noted. "Programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families kept the problem from getting worse and demonstrated once again the importance of public programs during economic downturns."

Paradoxically, wealthier counties that were less impacted by the recession, such as Marin and San Francisco, saw a 1.7 percent increase in the number of uninsured, from 19.1 to 20.8 percent.

But the hardest hit were the "medium impact" counties, which saw a significant 5.4 percent increase in the number of uninsured people, from 20.8 percent in 2007 to 26.2 percent in 2009. These counties include Monterey, San Bernardino and Tulare, among others.

These "medium" counties were likely "not poor enough to tap into public programs yet not wealthy enough to survive the economic storm," Lavarreda noted.

Statewide, the uninsured population became older on average following the start of the recession, with significant growth in the number of uninsured individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 in three of the four county groups examined.

The state's uninsured population also grew poorer, on average. Much of the growth in the uninsured was the result of job loss and a subsequent decline in job-based coverage. Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of Californians who were uninsured, unemployed and looking for work more than doubled in all counties. For example, in the "medium impact" group, this category grew from 6.6 percent in 2007 to 21.9 percent in 2009.

The authors say that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medi-Cal expansion may help a larger number of people than was initially anticipated. Many post-recession work
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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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