Census: health care in Merced grim

U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday reflect the grim state of health care coverage in Merced County.

Twenty percent of the population, or 50,000 people, lack health insurance. Roughly half the population has private insurance. A third of the population is covered by a public plan, according to the 2008 American Community Survey.

Merced County's percentage of uninsured residents is higher than the state average of 17.8 percent and the federal average of 15.1 percent.

Other areas of the country have higher uninsured rates. Texas' rate is at 26.5 percent and Florida is at 24.8 percent.

Mercy Medical Center Merced's Director of Patient Financial Services Lori Graver said the survey reflects what she sees at the hospital.

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