Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Stat hit

A friend sends this link:

CDC report

10% of the U.S. population had gone without health insurance for a year or more, when surveyed last year. Naturally, there is major inequality in this, as in all things here in the Land of the Free. 6.3% of white, non-Hispanic respondents had been in that perilous position; 10.5% of black, non-Hispanics; and 27.8% of Hispanics. (I prefer to say Latino, but they don't ask me.)

Now don't forget -- people without health insurance are almost always employed, or live in households with a breadwinner. These folks are not on welfare, they are working poor. Hispanics are by far the most likely to be migrant or seasonal workers, or to have the most marginal jobs, that don't provide them with insurance.

Sure, it's about good public policy, and it's about public health. But it's also about justice. The people who harvest your vegetables, who cut up and package your Perdue chicken breasts, who prepare your restaurant meals, who take care of your grandmother in the nursing home, who clean your office at night while you're home watching the boob tube, and then go to an overnight shift as a security guard -- that's who we're talking about. Those are the people who can't see a doctor.

(BTW, the number who are uninsured at any one time is much higher -- these are just people who had gone at least a year without insurance.)

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