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Job-Based Health Coverage Down In California

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Aired 9/11/09

New census figures show employer-based health insurance in California covers 56 percent of people under age 65. That's below the national average and down five points from the year 2000

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Above: Local San Diego editors debate the health care reform speech that President Obama delivered to the nation on Wednesday.

New census figures show employer-based health insurance in California covers 56 percent of people under age 65. That's below the national average and down five points from the year 2000.

Employer-based health coverage has seen reductions in California and throughout the U.S., where 62 percent of people are now covered by their employers. Gregory Knoll, executive director of the San Diego Legal Aid Society. He also runs the society's consumer center for health care. Knoll believes this reduction in health care coverage will continue as premiums escalate unless health care reform succeeds.

"It should be affordable for me to offer it to my employees," he said. "It should be affordable for my employees to take it up. And I don't see this trend changing until there's serious reform in this county."

This year's census survey asked respondents about their coverage in 2008. Some economists expect next year's report, about 2009, to show even less health coverage due to the recession.

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