Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program analyzed data from the 2003 Health Care for the Homeless User Survey, a nationwide sample representing 436,000 homeless people in the U.S..
They found that 73% of the respondents have at least one unmet health need. Of these, 41% lacked dental care, 32% lacked surgical care, 36% lacked prescription medications, 21% lacked mental health care, and 41% lacked eyeglasses.
Having had a job at some point during the year actually worked against the health needs of the poor; they were less likely to have health insurance, presumably because they couldn't qualify for Medicaid, according to the researchers. Those without insurance were less likely to get care.
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