MINORITY HEALTH: Working Latinos, African Americans Lack Coverage
California's working Latinos and African Americans "are being left behind ... in California's continuing economic boom," as they are more likely than whites to lack health insurance and report being in fair to poor health, according to the 2000 California Work and Health Survey. Compared to the 13% of working, white, non-Hispanic Californians who lack insurance, 33% of working Latinos, 18% of African Americans and 9% of Asian Americans have no health insurance. Furthermore, 20% of Latinos reported fair/poor health, compared to 14% of African Americans, 8% of Asian Americans and 8% of whites. African Americans also were nearly twice as likely as other racial/ethnic groups to report having high blood pressure. Twenty-five percent of African Americans said they had high blood pressure, while 15% of whites, 13% of Latinos and 13% of Asian Americans reported having high blood pressure (Yen, "Lower Pay and Poorer Health for California's Working Latinos and African Americans," 9/5). Principal researcher Irene Yen, a UCSF epidemiologist, said of the results, "When compared with the state's white working population, working Latinos and African Americans are still playing catch up" (UCSF release, 9/5). According to the survey researchers, offering tax incentives for employers who provide health insurance "could boost the number of insured workers" (Schultz, Santa Barbara News-Press, 9/6). The survey, based on telephone interviews of 2,168 English- and Spanish-speaking adults, was conducted for the University of California-San Francisco's Institute for Health Policy Studies (2000 California Work and Health Survey, 9/5). The survey is available at http://medicine.ucsf.edu/programs/cwhs/2000/tocday2.html.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.