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Almost 27% of Flagler Residents Under 65 Are Without Health Insurance; Reform Would Help

| August 30, 2012

Good luck. (Sharyn Morrow)

Almost one in four resident of Flagler County has no health insurance, and for adults between 18 and 64, the proportion of the uninsured is higher—26.8 percent—according to figures released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures are based on the Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimate, the only source for single-year estimates of health insurance coverage status for every county in the nation. They apply to 2010.

Significantly, women in Flagler County are far more likely not to have health insurance coverage than men: For those under 65, the proportion of uninsured rises to 35.5 percent, and 36.9 percent in the state as a whole. In some counties, including Miami-Dade, the proportion of uninsured women and girls approaches 50 percent.

In all, 16,774 Flagler County residents younger than 65 have no insurance. Florida’s rate of uninsured people under 65 is slightly higher than Flagler’s, at 25.3 percent.

The rate of uninsured children is lower: 14.1 percent in Flagler (or 2,784 children), and 13.4 percent in Florida. For the elderly—those 65 and over—uninsurance rates are in the low single digits, as most are covered by Medicare, the government-insurance program for the aged. Some 50 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.

Besides confirming alarming conditions for large swaths of the population, the Census Bureau numbers are becoming more relevant in light of the Obama administration’s health care reform act, which aims to provide insurance coverage universally.

The health care act would cover all those whose income is less than 138 percent of the poverty level. In Flagler County, 18,559 people fall into that group, and 7,164 of them—or 38.6 percent—are uninsured, according to the Census Bureau.

Some would be eligible for subsidized Medicaid or other forms of health coverage, at no cost to them, under the new health care law.

But not all: the expansion of Medicaid that would take in all Flagler County (and Florida) residents under a certain income threshold depends on the state voluntarily going along with the program. That part of health care reform is optional. Most states are going along. Gov. Rick Scott is not. Even though the federal government will pick up the entire cost of the expansion for the first two years, then pick up 90 percent of the cost in subsequent years, Scott announced that Florida would stay out of it, essentially denying coverage to a large portion of Florida’s poor.

Scott and Florida Republicans were among the leaders nationally battling against the Obama health law, with Florida’s attorney general leading the legal case that ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court this year. The court declared the law constitutional on most grounds, and its implementation is going forward. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president, has vowed to repeal the law. He has not spelled out an alternative aside from an unspecified plan to provide tax credits and vouchers, for people to buy insurance. Paul Ryan, his vice presidential nominee, has spelled out a more specified plan to privatize Medicare while allowing recipients to still receive the government-backed benefits, but at much higher costs than they do now.

The Census Bureau numbers show that almost 3.5 million Floridians would be eligible either for Medicaid or for some form of subsidized health coverage. In Flagler County 27,500 people under 65 have an income below 400 percent of the poverty line (for a family of four, that means a household income below $89,000). And 27 percent of those residents have no insurance. They would all be eligible for at least some subsidy (but by no means complete coverage) under the new health law.

The county with the lowest proportion of uninsured people younger than 65 is St. Johns, with 16.3 percent. Miami-Dade has the highest proportion of uninsured, with 35.8 percent.



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29 Responses for “Almost 27% of Flagler Residents Under 65 Are Without Health Insurance; Reform Would Help”

  1. question says:

    Conservatives who work SO HARD to block medical help to their fellow human beings
    are not only going diabolically against their so widely espoused goodness beliefs
    …they should be deeply ashamed. Ditto the huge per cent of children without sufficient food or shelter.

    • Clint says:

      I say we give everyone FREE HEALTH CARE and FREE FOOD and FREE HOUSING. Then we will send the bill to you because we know how well democraps love to pay their bills !!!!

  2. MSFB says:

    That’s probably true because the real unemployment number is probably closer to the 27% than 12%.

  3. Ben Blakely says:

    Thanks to the democrats and feckless and clueless obama, the economy remains in the dumper after 4 painful years of obama failure, empty promises, hopelessness and change for the worse and zero leadership.

    People have trouble getting up the money for food let alone, medical insurance.

    • Ben Dover says:

      No Ben thanks to Bush!!!! He left one hell of a crap sandwich in his wake , it took him 8 yrs to totally screw up an economy Clinton had running like a top, two wars eating up 16 billion a month for 10 yrs will do that to an economy, you republicans crack me up , they didn t even invite that Baffoon to the convention , cause they don t want to remind people what the last rep pres did to our country, Thanks to the Democrats what a joke!!!!

  4. Yellowstone says:

    Let’s leave it to the ‘job creators’ to make all good things happen. Apparently they know better. They know we will all be back to work in time. They know it doesn’t take a vllage to create jobs – each of us can do this all by ourselves. No help required! None. Zilch. Nada. Thank you all very much.

    You get sick, have no healtcare, can’t or won’t singlehanded create your own business – too bad. Tough!

    You know, though, who is looking out for you? It’s those invisible people in our villages. Those that know and practice, “do unto others, as you would have them to unto you”.

    Make darn sure you vote this time – unless, of course, you have been disenfranchised through no fault of your own.

    GO VOTE ANYWAY . . . . .

  5. Anon says:

    The Republicans: right wing, teabaggers and all of the rest want many to believe that those who are looking for equal access to health care are looking for a free ride.

    I have a six figure income and couldn’t get health care, and when I told the doctor’s admin that I was self pay they got off of the telephone faster than Jackie Robinson.

    Lucky and blessed I now have employer group coverage and cannot be denied enrollment.

    • Johnny Taxpayer says:

      Wow. And I bet you’re probably someone who complains about how sour the political discourse is, but yet you have no problem referring to a group of people whom you apparently disagree with it in a very vial manner. Congratulations on raising the bar.

  6. Outsider says:

    Ninety grand a year for a family of four and they would be eligible for a subsidy? Now it’s welfare for the pretty well off, too. How about people just stop having babies they can’t afford, wait until they’re married and both parents have established themselves financially? I know, that’s so old fashioned.

  7. Sad Times says:

    Hey…… if the Republicans get their way….. that percentage will be a lot higher!

    And, hey, folks, if “we the people” decide that Romney is the person they wish to vote for president, then that percentage will skyrocket to immense proportions!

  8. Nancy N. says:

    Count me among the county’s uninsured. I lost my benefits at the end of 2011 when my husband’s former COBRA plan ran out. I’m self-employed so I don’t have employer-sponsored care and no one will sell me insurance because I have Lupus. I desperately need the ACA law to go forward so that pre-existing limitations will be removed and I could also use the subsidies since my income is less than 400% the poverty line.

  9. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    So apparently, according to the above comments, Republicans don’t want people to have access to health care. Yet, (stay with me here…) health care is a big business, and republicans are all about big business and obscene profits, so wouldn’t it be in the evil rich republican’s self interest to have greater access to health care so their cronies in big health care and big pharma could make even higher obscene profits and windfalls off the backs of the poor and middle class?

    OR, perhaps, and I know this is a stretch, maybe, just because someone is against the Government taking over management of 1/6th of our economy, doesn’t mean they’re automatically opposed the poor and middle class having greater access to health care?

    You know there might be other ways to make health care more affordable than letting the Government take it over and forcing your neighbor to pay for it. I know that’s hard to phantom in this day and age where Government has all the answers.

    • w.ryan says:

      Johnny Taxpayer…Reboot! You’re think to hard. The only difference is with where health care gets the money. They won’t be fleecing Americans.

      • Anita says:

        @ Johnnytaxpayer, How about you telling us what you and the GOP plan to do about skyrocketing prices for care and medicine? How you’re going to handle preconditions? This taxpayer, for one, would love to read it.

    • Anita says:

      “You know there might be other ways to make health care more affordable than letting the Government take it over and forcing your neighbor to pay for it. I know that’s hard to phantom in this day and age where Government has all the answers. ”

      Such as?

  10. Samuel Smith says:

    The legal working age should be lowered to 2, thereby allowing the free market to drive down insurance rates. Then children would be able to purchase their own health insurance like any other fiscally responsible American.

  11. Ben Dover says:

    If Rick Scott and Romney had their way , all the uninsured and poor in this country, would be fed into ovens, and then mass graves , just like Hitler did to the Jews , they ruined the economy with a bogus war, got us kicked out of our houses , sent a big portion of our jobs oversea`s, and if the get in , they will start a war with Iran , they are all war mongers, they don t care what it does to this country , how many young men and women will die ,or if they come home whole or not, they make big money on wars , they not only own the contracting companies that rebuild the other countries buildings and streets , they own stock in munitions companies, the houses the American people lose , they buy and flip them , Bush bought a 5 million dollar house for 2 after he drove the housing market into the toilet. its all about greed for them. They do not care about the real people who built this country, only their wealthy friends.

  12. Nancy N. says:

    The dirty little secret of the healthcare debate is rationing. That’s what the fundamental difference is between the Republicans and Democrats on this. There is not enough health care infrastructure in this country to provide for everyone in it – we don’t have enough primary care doctors, specialists, etc, to care for everyone if everyone were insured and getting proper care. Having everyone have financial access to care will end up with competition for those resources. It will be more difficult to get care. That’s why the Republican party, largely made up of groups whose healthcare is currently secure, has no interest in broadening access to healthcare. They are perfectly happy with healthcare access being rationed on the basis of financial means. Because they have the financial means.

    • Dorothea says:

      @Nancy N.

      Many doctor’s visits can be made to nurse practitioners, thus providing jobs for many of the unemployed or underemployed. That is if you can get the Republican pols to see beyond their own stupidity and allow government funding or government loans to pay for the needed education. That would solve two problems, but you can bet that if Obama is president the Republicans will not want to solve either problem.

      • Nancy N. says:

        I do agree that using CNP’s and PA’s is going to be one way to alleviate this. My daughter sees a PA as part of her care at Shands Children’s Hospital, and I have a cousin who is a CNP. I don’t, however, see this as a way to provide jobs to lots of unemployed people. Those types of positions require lots of education and training – they aren’t suited to just anyone – and there aren’t exactly a lot of unemployed people sitting around in the healthcare industry right now. It’s the one field with plenty of available work if you have the qualifications.

  13. Gia says:

    Only UNIVERSAL insurance can resolve problems. Anything else is only pure propaganda & bullshit.

  14. Lonewolf says:

    To top it off the GOP wants to repeal Obamacare AND take away Medicaid by letting Rick Scott decide what to do with medicaid money

  15. w.ryan says:

    What kind of country is this when government can subsidize Big Business and the wealthy but we can’t subsidize healthcare?The notion of ” pay for their neighbors” show how ignorant you’ll who used the phrase really are. Healthcare is a right for all Americans regardless of who can afford it. Keep singing your Republican Tea Party rhetoric until you’re in need. When the need arises and you’ll can afford it yours songs will change.

  16. Clint says:

    Where in the American Constitution does it say…Free healthcare for everyone ! Your want Free healthcare, go to England. Oh yea, they love their Free healthcare. This country is in for the GREATEST DEPRESSION in the history of this planet. Get prepared people, its coming and its going to be PAINFUL !

  17. question says:

    Samuel…oh, the Newt ‘Child Janitor’ fabulous idea. Good, the little tykes can be insured!

  18. getittogether says:

    Unfortunately, you old bags hold the cards. 65+ get health insurance…the younger population receives none of that unless they are poverty. Until the younger generation learns how to vote, this is the hand we are dealt.

  19. rickg says:

    A single payer system is the only way to get health care to those who need it. Medicare for all is the answer. Of course if you love having insurance company people deciding your health care then you would opt for the present system.

  20. Deep South says:

    Most of the Employers in Flagler County are under 50 employees, and are not required to provide health insurance for their employees. Another reason why Flagler County is not a not a quality effective place to seek employment.

    • Deep South says:

      ………and those employers over 50 employees do not provide full time employment to hourly employees, just part time which is not eligible for benefits, unless you are salaried management, which is very few in Flagler County. A lot of Flagler’s work force lack the skill or education. Most of those with the skill or education have left to work in a better economy.

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