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Safety Net: Health-Care Providers Face Significant Challenges Serving Uninsured

The large population of uninsured and underinsured patients in Santa Barbara County is served mainly by what are called “safety net” providers such as the county’s Public Health Department clinics. Santa Barbara County is relatively healthy, with higher life expectancy than the state average for California, but there are vast disparities based on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, said Dr. Takashi Wada, the county’s public health director.