Uninsured Week

When you think of a person who can't afford health insurance, a certain image may come to mind, and most likely that image is wrong.

All this week local leaders and medical professionals are raising awareness on the growing problem of the uninsured. In Leon County, nearly 30,000 residents are without health insurance.

Aldria white is one of them.

Self employed and a full-time student at FAMU, White says she cannot afford the coverage.

Aldria White, who is uninsured, says, “People don't think of someone like me, they think of someone who is on welfare, homeless and that's not factual.”

In fact, studies show eight out of ten people who are uninsured are in working families with the rising cost of health coverage to blame, and there are other myths.

Curtis Richardson, (D) Tallahassee, says, “Most people believe the majority of uninsured are minorities and that is not the case.”

Reports indicate three-fourths of the uninsured in the U.S. are non-Hispanic whites. Addressing misconceptions and spreading awareness about the growing problem are the focus of 2004's "cover the uninsured week."

Doctors on the front lines say they see firsthand that being uninsured means you live sicker and die younger.

Cecil Wilson, American Medical Association Board Member, says, “I would suggest we work together to get care when it’s needed not when it’s too late.”

Local programs such as Leon County's Carenet are proving to be beneficial by not only helping the uninsured but by also cutting down costs for taxpayers due to a decline in ER visits.

Monday at 6:30, there will be a Town Hall meeting at the Leon County Health Department on Orange Avenue.