Health News

Uninsured Californians Benefit From Affordable Care Act


Amid the clamor of support and dissent about President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), good news has arisen from California concerning the controversial health initiative.

NPR‘s Lisa Aliferis reported yesterday that 68 percent of uninsured Californians gained health care in the most recent ACA open enrollment period. The number, Aliferis wrote, is a 10 percent increase over the previous open enrollment period.

The story went on to break down the numbers of those uninsured residents who gained health care. Thirty-four percent of the newly covered are covered under Medi-Cal, 14 percent gained coverage through their employer and 12 percent paid for their new insurance through the state’s health care marketplace.

In an interview with the Los Angeles TimesKaiser Family Foundation Vice President Mollyann Brodie told the publication the program has been “very successful” for the state’s uninsured.

For people that didn’t have health insurance, California has been very successful in enrolling two-thirds of that group. But the group that is left is a harder-to-reach group.

Brodie, as quoted by the LA Times, alluded that some groups aren’t facing the same relief that others are. Of the recently insured, the story said, 25 percent said they had to forgo treatments because they were cost-prohibitive, while 16 percent said doctors would not accept them as a patient.

Daniel Zingale, an executive with the California Endowment, expressed the same concern as Brodie when he spoke with the LA Times about the new statistics, saying the numbers show “there’s still work we need to do” and that the state’s insured and uninsured residents still need “affordable” health care.

(…) the survey results also demonstrate the work we still need to do, to make sure the remaining uninsured get the access they need to affordable, quality health care.

According to NPR, the statistics are based on the results of a survey of more than 1,000 previously uninsured people.

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