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City by city, coverage disparities exist

By Amanda Demetrio and Sara Hayden

President Obama’s goal with the Affordable Care Act is to provide health insurance for all. On the Peninsula — home to some of the nation’s wealthiest people — the difficulty of achieving that goal depends on where you live.

In Los Altos, just 2.7 percent of the population is uninsured, according to Census data. Cupertino isn’t far behind, at 4 percent. But along the Highway 101 corridor, the figures paint a different picture in other cities: East Palo Alto’s percentage of uninsured is 25.9 and Redwood City’s is 15.

The map below highlights 14 cities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to show the disparities.

Hispanics comprise the majority of East Palo Alto’s population, which highlights a larger issue across the Peninsula: a disparity in health insurance coverage exists between Hispanics and other ethnic groups, particularly non-Hispanic whites. In East Palo Alto, a significant percentage of Pacific Islanders are uninsured as well.

East Palo Alto’s share of uninsured Hispanics exceeds state and national percentages for the same population.

Editor’s note: The Census category includes all Hispanics, regardless of immigration status.