new report on health care and korean american small business owners in los angeles

This week, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) released a report that shows 92% of small business owners surveyed in Los Angeles' Koreatown support a public option in health reform.

At a time when health care is on the forefront of American dialogue, this report chronicles an important, un-explored perspective in the issue -- the opinions and experiences of Korean immigrant business owners in Los Angeles.

Korean American-owned businesses generate $19.5 billion a year for the state of California (according to the Census' Survey of Small Business Owners) but also report an uninsured rate of 52% -- the highest in the country.

That's a staggering number. One in three Korean Americans are uninsured, and the key factors that contribute to the lack of coverage including immigration status, affordability, and lack of work-based health insurance programs.

Among uninsured respondents, 96% expressed a clear desire to obtain health insurance but were unable to do so due to several obstacles, the foremost being cost. In the same survey, 70% of respondents said they believed that their business would be more productive if they had access to coverage for themselves and their employees.

Immigrant small businesses give a lot to stimulate the growth of the economy, and this is what they get in return: they are grossly underserved and in poor access to affordable medical care. To learn more about the report, "We Must Have Health Reform: Survey of Korean American Small Business Owners in Los Angeles" go to the NAKASEC website here.

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