Latinos are almost twice as likely as other Californians to be
without health insurance, even though 87 percent of uninsured Latinos
are from families with at least one wage earner. Latinos lack health
insurance because they tend to work for employers who do not provide
it, such as small firms in the agriculture, retail or service
Some 39 percent of non-elderly Latinos are completely uninsured,
meaning they are not covered either by private insurance or Medi-Cal,
compared to 23 percent of all non-elderly Californians. If the
uninsured end up at public hospital facilities, "the taxpayers of
California are subsidizing employers who choose not to provide health
insurance for their employees." There may be broader ramifications:
tuberculosis, is two and one-half times more common in Los Angeles
County than in the United States as a whole.
David E. Hayes-Bautista of UCLA, in a study of the 3.3 million
Latinos who comprised 40 percent of in Los Angeles county's 8.8
million residents, estimated that fewer than 20 percent were illegal
aliens in the 1990 COP. According to Hayes-Bautista, slightly more
than half of Los Angeles County Latinos are foreign-born.
About 17 percent of the poor Latino adult immigrants reported
receiving public assistance in 1989, compared to 65 percent of poor
Blacks, 50 percent of poor U.S.-born Latinos, 49 percent of poor
Asians, and 42 percent of poor non-Latino whites. The average Latino
immigrant household income in 1989 of $29,989 was lower than those
reported for other groups: $52,375 for non-Latino whites, $49,042 for
Asians, $43,777 for U.S.-born Latinos, and $32,813 for black
Some 70 percent of immigrant Latino adults 25 and older in Los
Angeles county had not completed high school, versus 14 percent of
non-Latino white adults, 21 percent of Asians, 25 percent of black,
and 35 percent of U.S.-born Latinos. About 86 percent of immigrant
Latino men 16 and older participate in the labor force, but only 43
percent of all Latina immigrants 16 and older.
Half of the immigrant Latino households were classic nuclear
families--couples with children--versus 16 percent of blacks, 18
percent of non-Latino whites, 31 percent of U.S.-born Latinos, and
38percent of Asians.
Latino Immigrants in LA, A Portrait From the 1990 Census, Alta
California Policy Research Center, 1994; Patrick McDonnell, "Study
Seeks to Debunk Stereotypes of Latinos," Los Angeles Times, October
21, 1994, B3; Douglas Shuit, "Study Finds Latinos to be Group Most
Lacking in Health Coverage," Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1994, A3.