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Report: Most Clients of ‘Safety Net’ Health Providers Are Insured

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The uninsured aren't the only ones using California's public hospitals and community clinics. A new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reveals three-quarters of those who use safety net providers have insurance. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The report says nearly two million Californians who were uninsured for part or all of 2005 relied on safety net providers.

But the report also says more than 5.5 million people with insurance used the safety net as their primary source of care.

UCLA researcher Shana Lavarreda admits the findings run contrary to popular belief.

Lavarreda : But it looks like it really doesn't matter if you're insured or uninsured, the safety net provides healthcare to millions of Californians of all insurance statuses and types.

The report concludes federal and state investments will be needed to support the continuing role of the safety net.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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