September 22 2009, 10:40 AM
Darlene Rowland used to have good health insurance through her job as a legal assistant. But since the 63-year-old Lakewood woman was laid off in December, she has had to rely on a clinic for the uninsured, where she learned that her blood pressure was dangerously high. Her doctor attributed her condition to the stress of looking for a job and struggling for money, prescribing blood-pressure medicine she couldn't afford. In the end, the doctor gave her the $4 she needed to get the drugs. That desperate snapshot, offered by The Denver Post, underscores the plight of about one in six Coloradans who did not have health insurance last year, a number that's above the national average, according to new Census data. Part of the problem appears to be the state's high number of small businesses, which have suffered the most during the recession, resulting in an increase in the number of people with no insurance. Rates of uninsured in Denver and Aurora were higher than the state average--23.3 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively. In affluent Highlands Ranch, however, just one in 20 people were uninsured. Meanwhile, other Census data indicates fewer Americans drove to work alone or owned their own home than the year before, according to The New York Times. And while the Times reports that fewer Americans got married last year, 76 percent of those who are married have tied the knot just once, writes USA Today.