As the Remote Area Media clinic is well underway at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, the combined crunch of a depressed economy and rising health care costs is having a similar impact up in Ventura County. The USC Center for Health Reporting launches a 4-day series today on the “New Uninsured” in Ventura—the people who once had decent jobs and health coverage but are now showing up at free clinics across the county because they’ve lost their jobs and insurance. This is the story of a struggling middle class, as most of these newly uninsured were making decent salaries and economically stable up until the past two years. We look north to examine the combined pressure of health and economy on the residents of Ventura County.
John Gonzales, senior writer at the USC Center for Health Reporting and lead author of the “New Uninsured” series