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Southern California has some of the highest concentrations of residents without health insurance in the state, but San Diego County bucks that trend, according to a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles.

San Diego County has a lower rate than each of the neighboring counties with 23 percent of its residents having no health insurance.

The county falls slightly below the statewide rate, 24 percent, but it still exceeds nationwide trends. The most recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number of uninsured residents at 44 million, or 17 percent of the U.S. population under age 65.

Here’s an excerpt from the UCLA study that puts some of the local and national trends into perspective:

Job loss, foreclosures, and loss of insurance coverage have combined in many areas of the state to make families vulnerable to prolonged financial as well as health problems. Yet, major elements of health care reform aimed at helping middle- and lower-income families will not go into effect until 2014. Included among these provisions are federal subsidies for purchasing health insurance through a state-based health insurance exchange and a federally funded expansion of Medi-Cal. Given the ongoing effects of the recession throughout California, every effort should be made to help families in need even sooner than 2014.

— KEEGAN KYLE

Rob Davis

Rob Davis was formerly a senior reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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