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Do you have health insurance?
Medical
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Medical & Dental
27%
 27%  [ 5 ]
Medical, Dental & Disability
50%
 50%  [ 9 ]
No Insurance.
22%
 22%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 18

Posted by: Tekatoka Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:30 pm
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Ranks of poor, uninsured rose in 2003
8/26/2004, 3:49 p.m. ET
By GENARO C. ARMAS
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush.

Approximately 35.8 million people lived below the poverty line in 2003, or about 12.5 percent of the population, according to the bureau. That was up from 34.5 million, or 12.1 percent in 2002.

The rise was more dramatic for children. There were 12.9 million living in poverty last year, or 17.6 percent of the under-18 population. That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7 percent of all children were in poverty.

The Census Bureau's definition of poverty varies by the size of the household. For instance, the threshold for a family of four was $18,810, while for two people it was $12,015.

Nearly 45 million people lacked health insurance, or 15.6 percent of the population. That was up from 43.5 million in 2002, or 15.2 percent, but was a smaller increase than in the two previous years.

Uninsured rates for children, though, were relatively stable at 11.4 percent, likely the result of recent expansions of coverage in government programs covering the poor and children, such as the state Children's Health Insurance Program, analysts said.

Meanwhile, the median household income, when adjusted for inflation, remained basically flat last year at $43,318. Whites, blacks and Asians saw no noticeable change, but income fell 2.6 percent for Hispanics to nearly $33,000. Asians had the highest income at over $55,000, while whites made $47,800 and blacks nearly $30,000.

Census Bureau analyst Dan Weinberg said the results were typical of a post-recession period. He said the increase in people without insurance was due to the uncertain job picture.

"Certainly the long-term trend is firms offering less generous (benefit) plans, and as people lose jobs they tend to lose health insurance coverage," he said.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry seized on the numbers as evidence the Bush administration's economic policies have failed. During the years Bush has been in office, 5.2 million people have lost health insurance and 4.3 million have fallen into poverty, he said.

"Under George Bush's watch, America's families are falling further behind," Kerry said.

Bush administration officials were quick to counter that the data didn't reflect more recent gains in the economy in the first half of 2004 and left some of the blame on Congress. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Bush was focusing on proposals that would reduce the costs of health insurance for businesses.

"The big failure is not what is happening in the administration," Thompson said. "Individuals in the Senate have failed to adopt the president's health care plan."

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, noted that while more people lost insurance, the number of Americans who had coverage grew by 1 million last year. Overall, 243 million people had insurance in 2003.

"The bottom line is this: More people in America have health coverage today than at any time in our nation's history and I think that's a fact worth noting, but we can always do more," Barton said.

Even before release of the data, some Democrats claimed the Bush administration was trying to play down bad news by releasing the reports a month earlier than usual. The reports normally come out separately in late September one on poverty and income, the other on insurance.

Releasing the numbers at the same time and not so close to Election Day "invite charges of spinning the data for political purposes," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

Census Director Louis Kincannon a Bush appointee denied politics played any role in moving up the release date. The move, announced earlier this year, was done to coordinate the numbers with the release of other data.

Official national poverty estimates, as well as most government data on income and health insurance, come from the bureau's Current Population Survey.

This year the bureau is simultaneously releasing data from the broader American Community Survey, which also includes income and poverty numbers but cannot be statistically compared with the other survey.

__

On the Net:

Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/

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Posted by: jdat Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:32 am
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In response to the poll :

NO
NO
NO

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1093599224164580.xml

Cleveland No.1 in big-city poverty
Nearly half of children among the poor
Friday, August 27, 2004
Robert L. Smith and Dave Davis
Plain Dealer Reporters
A city hoping to rebound from a recession and from malaise faces a steeper challenge than anyone may have imagined.

Cleveland experienced the highest poverty rate among America's big cities last year, with nearly a third of its people in poverty, according to new figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.


And nearly one-half of Cleveland's children were among the poor, again the highest rate among American cities with populations of 250,000 or more.

Both numbers stunned and discouraged people who monitor the region's economy and its impact on families.

"Oh, my God," said Claudia Coulton, a social scientist at Case Western Reserve University. She said the city has hovered high on national poverty rankings in recent years, but this is probably the first time it topped such a list.

"It's depressing news," said George Weiner, a specialist in health planning and research for the Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland.

For several years, he said, the city has had a large population living near the poverty line.

The poverty line is defined by the federal government as an income of less than $18,660 in 2003 for a family of four. It does not take much to push a family over that edge, Weiner said.

A lost job, a new child, or an illness can do it.

Across America in 2003, families struggled to maintain their standards of living. Incomes were stagnant, poverty increased, and more than a million more Americans felt the sting of living without health insurance, the Census Bureau reported.

The portrait of a nation treading water comes from two separate coast-to-coast surveys of key quality-of-life indicators.

The Census Bureau released a mountain of data Thursday from those surveys done in 2003. The Current Population Survey set the nation's official poverty rate and detailed America's fortunes with income and health insurance.

The American Community Survey gave communities a look at everything from poverty to education to commute times and home values.

For Northeast Ohio, the report offered both good and bad news. Median household income in the region was up more than $1,600 since 2000 and stood at $42,082 last year, except in Cuyahoga County, where households earned just $38,204.

Commute times in the eight counties dipped slightly to under 23 minutes on average, while the percentage of adults with a college education rose to its highest level ever, 25.8 percent.

But poverty also was up across the region and was a big problem in Cuyahoga County, where 15 percent of residents were estimated to be poor. That's well above Columbus' Franklin County and Cincinnati's Hamilton County.

Among other highlights:

The nation's official poverty rate climbed to 12.5 percent last year, up from 12.1 percent in 2002, as an additional 1.3 million Americans fell into poverty.

The poverty rate for children rose slightly to 17.6 percent.

Nationally, median income stood at $43,300 in 2003, unchanged from 2002. In Ohio, that figure was $41,350 and in the eight-county Northeast Ohio region it was $42,082.

Forty-five million Americans were without health insurance coverage last year, an increase of 1.4 million over the year before.

That means 15.4 percent of the population knows the anxiety felt by Gene and Colleen Myers of Parma. The couple dropped their health care coverage four years ago because they could not afford the high premiums demanded of Gene, a self-employed home remodeler.

"Believe me, we didn't want to do it," Colleen Myers said.

Their worst fears were realized this spring when Gene, 60, was found to have cancer.

He thanks the Lord and the charity care offered by MetroHealth Medical Center for saving his life, but he says he could have used more help.

"It seems to be getting worse and worse in this country," he said. "People are just left out there hanging."

The new poverty and health insurance numbers immediately became part of the presidential campaign. Democrats said the nation is still bleeding jobs and that President Bush has no plans to confront a mounting health care crisis.

Republicans countered that the president's economic policies need time to take effect.

Meanwhile, census officials attributed the rise in the nation's uninsured to a decline in coverage offered by private businesses.

"There certainly has been a long-term trend that employers are offering less-generous plans," said Daniel Weinberg, the Census Bureau's chief of household economic statistics.

At a news conference Thursday in suburban Washington, D.C., Weinberg singled out Cleveland for a dubious distinction.

"Cleveland and Newark [N.J.] had the highest poverty rates in the nation," he declared.

With an estimated 31.3 percent of its people in poverty, Cleveland topped the list of impoverished big cities for the first time in the four years census officials have conducted the American Community Survey.

It was not a steep fall. In 2000, the city's poverty rate of 24.3 percent ranked sixth nationally; by 2002, Cleveland ranked third, with 30.6 percent of its people in poverty.

Coincidentally Thursday, about 16 men and women marked the eighth anniversary of federal welfare reform with a protest march down Cleveland's Lakeside Avenue.

Priscilla Cooper, a self-described welfare mother, led a group called Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor (STOP). Group members assert that the reforms did not deliver the promised jobs and instead cut away America's safety net.

Social scientists see other, bigger sources of blame.

Cleveland's poverty rates actually dropped sharply during the booming national economy of the late 1990s, only to surge again since 2000, said Coulton, co-director of Case's Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change.

She cautions that the latest numbers are from a random sample survey and, like a political poll, carry a margin of error. But she has no doubt about the severity of poverty in Cleveland.

Both Coulton and Weiner blame the lingering recession and Cleveland's inability to attract jobs. The hardships are exacerbated, they said, by housing patterns and child-rearing decisions.

Some of those hardships were highlighted last year in a Plain Dealer series called "Children Left Behind." The analysis showed how Cleveland, when compared with other big cities, consistently ranked last in a number of quality-of-life indicators for children, including poor housing, poverty and single parenting. The newspaper found that in some Cleveland neighborhoods, infants were dying at rates that rival Third World countries like Guatemala.

Single-parent households are the surest indicator of poverty, most social scientists agree, and that all but guarantees a high poverty rate for Cleveland.

In 2001, 67 percent of Cleveland newborns were born to an unmarried woman, compared to 36 percent of newborns in the eight-county region and 34 percent of newborns in Ohio, Weiner said.

"That's absolutely a major problem," he said.

Meanwhile, Cleveland, like most of Ohio, has not emerged from a recession that officially ended in 2003, Coulton said.

As the middle class moves farther and farther from the city, single moms are isolated in an ever-poorer city that offers them mostly low-wage jobs. The national minimum wage is $5.15 an hour.

Against those odds, Coulton said, it takes two to succeed.

"A couple can make it," she said. "But a single parent at minimum wage can't possibly earn her way out of poverty."

Thomas Gaumer, Plain Dealer computer-assisted reporting editor, and reporter James Ewinger contributed to this story.

To reach these Plain Dealer reporter:

rsmith@plaind.com, 216-999-4024

ddavis@plaind.com, 216-999-4808



2004 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.


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Posted by: citizenj Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:39 am
Joined: 28 May 2004  Posts: 129
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jdat-
depressing news from a depressing place.

and yet people wonder why college graduates and people 19-30 are leaving cleveland in droves. can anything be done to change the area?

manufacturing carried ne ohio for so long. now it's moving away, with no replacement, leaving thousands of unskilled laborers out in the cold. we should consider ourselves lucky not to be in their shoes.

if we're really going to change the nature of health care in america, we're gonna need socialized medicine, period end of story. and everybody says, "oh it doesn't work, look at canada and europe, how bad it is there, and there's no economic incentive for medical personnel to provide good care" BULLSHIT. most doctors aren't in it for the money (although it doesn't hurt), they're in it because it's what they do and what they're good at. nobody in their right mind would go thru the kind of training and run up the student loans that doctors do if there wasn't a higher calling of the individual. and i've looked at canada and europe and it looks to me like the populations are a LOT happier and better taken care of and even the poor get the help they need. why not here? cuz a few rich greedy fu*kheads keep all the money for themselves and convince the population that any other way would "destroy our way of life". yeah, great lives we got here. Americans have GOT to give up that Horatio Alger bs. no, most of us won't end up rich, we won't end up living "the good life", we're gonna be workin stiffs for the rest of our lives, have a coupla kids, hope for a better life for them, grow old and die. get used to it- and in november, even tho kerry's just another politician (albeit better the w), vote for him and we'll see some reform. not a lot, but some.

/leaves soapbox and walks off...


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Posted by: jdat Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:17 am
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citizenj yes it's very depressing. And we wonder why oh why why why are brains leaving why isn't the area that appealing etc etc


In regards to socialized medicine let me be the first to tell you it's a GREAT THING! Off course it has it's toll on wages and social employer charges but in the end I think it wins.

Growing up in France I never experienced difficulties going to see the doctor etc. There's this whole myth that with social medication programs you're put on waiting lists and such.
That is an utter lie but it still only applies to extreme cases like getting a major operation and such (same in capitalist medication countries .... you need an operation you have to wait unless it's urgent of course).

This is debatable to no end but I honestly believe that Doctor fees should be government regulated. A nation cannot be at the mercy of Doctor's wanting 75$ for a regular appointement.
Mind you in France most of the appointement was covered by the governement and the standard appointement charge was around 18$ (for a regular doctor that is).
I have been sick a couple times in the last 3 years and simply because of money I've put my health at risk and have not seen a doctor while on the other hand I needed a health certificate once and that took a good 30 seconds for the doctor to write on a piece of paper I'm in ok shape and then me shelling out 80 bucks. It's seriously injust. Oh and I've seen my mother and father not go to the doctor either because of money.
I've had to work a couple times sick and let me tell you that's hell.


You think I'll ever feel bad about socialized medication when I was lucky enough to be able to leave France in august 2001 ( yes the 23rd of this month it's been 3 years since I been here .... I haven't had much reason to celebrate tbh) and take one years of asthma medication with me ( which amounted to around 3000 $ worth that I did not have to pay for )?
Not one single bit.
I've actually considered going back to France for a couple days just to get my medication. I totally understand what grandma's and pa's are going to Canada because of the costs.

What have I done since? Nothing!
I ran out of my medication or more like try to not become dependent on it and I simply cannot afford it because at around 280$ a month cost for the meds I can pass Mad


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Posted by: Tekatoka Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:31 am
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I screwed up the poll at the top...Forgot to add the option of "no insurance..." with the poll after you've typed it you have to add it...whoopsie....

I don't think the problem of lack of insurance is unique to Cleveland; it's a national phenomenon. But where it ties into a region with high unemployment like this is that people will leave to gain employment elsewhere where they can get a job with benefits...How many artists or other independently employed people would stay here if they knew they could open a gallery or such and be covered through some publicly available program? Most people I know say that they would be willing to pay a premium for a public plan, but that the private premiums currently are too expensive, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition.

I am heartbroken over the number of children in poverty in Cleveland. Absolutely heartbroken. If anyone knows of any way to get involved in food or clothing or school supplies for Cleveland kids, please post it so I/we can try and make some sort of contribution.

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Posted by: jdat Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:39 am
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headrushmusic wrote:

I am heartbroken over the number of children in poverty in Cleveland. Absolutely heartbroken. If anyone knows of any way to get involved in food or clothing or school supplies for Cleveland kids, please post it so I/we can try and make some sort of contribution.

This here surely doesn't help
Single-parent households are the surest indicator of poverty, most social scientists agree, and that all but guarantees a high poverty rate for Cleveland.

In 2001, 67 percent of Cleveland newborns were born to an unmarried woman, compared to 36 percent of newborns in the eight-county region and 34 percent of newborns in Ohio, Weiner said.
Sad

I remember last year or so seeing these ads in Akron for something called Sponsor/Adopt a child. You would spend a couple hours a week/month with the kid bring them out to a better world of sorts.

I totally follow you on the heart brokeness caused by this. One thing that particurlaly gets to me is the number of campaigns to help overseas kids ( who God bless them also need help ) yet we deny help to those in our own cities Sad


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Posted by: Tymezup Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 6:44 am
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Location: Cleveland, OH
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No Insurance?
Living at Poverty Level?

There are TWO things everyone should know regarding healthcare and being uninsured.

A) North Coast Health Care Ministry. This is a place in Lakewood that provides free healthcare to low income families. I forget what the guidelines are, but its slightly above the poverty line. This organization is Christian ran, and they get Doctors and Hospitals to donate their time. They also have some drug co-ops for perscriptions and all n all it works out pretty good. If you are uninsured and don't make any money I highly suggest getting on this plan.

B) Metro Health Systems. This is the big Hospital on W25 (not too close to downtown). They are a great system and I have heard great things. The beautiful thing about Metro is that they grade your income on a scale of 1 to 6. If you are a 1, your healthcare is free. If you are a 6, then you pay the full amount. The rest are grades in between. Even if you are eligible for gcap/low income emergency room care.... try to get to Metro... gcap only covers the hospital bill and none of the doctors, x-rays, house providers, etc.

Other healthcare notes....
The Cleveland Clinic is a chop-shop, and they take a very factory like/assembly line styled approach to surgery. Avoid it unless it is absolutely necessary. The plus side, if you can afford it, is that you get ONE bill (unlike other hospitals where you get 10 bills from 10 different people).


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Posted by: El Mariachi Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:22 pm
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We've had morons running Cleveland for the past 40 years.

And we still have morons running the city. Things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Giving money to startup companies is ok and all, but we really need a major corporation to move to town. And we haven't done a good job of attracting business. No one knows how to sell cleveland.

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Posted by: Phoenix Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 1:40 am
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Yes, yes and yes. In fact, you just reminded me that I have to sign up for my new benefits at my new job, at Adelphia. Thanks! Razz


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Posted by: Phoenix Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List
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Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 1:47 am
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In 2001, 67 percent of Cleveland newborns were born to an unmarried woman, compared to 36 percent of newborns in the eight-county region and 34 percent of newborns in Ohio, Weiner said.
_________

That says a lot right there. What about social responsibility of people poppin' out kids too young, while not in any kind of stable relationship or being married?


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