Health Care

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The Labor Center’s health care research aims to inform federal, state, and local policymaking to improve access to health coverage and make health care more affordable for workers and their families. Our research especially examines policy impacts for California low-income and immigrant working families and communities of color. Many of our publications include projections from the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model, jointly developed with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Our factsheet for calculating Modified Adjusted Gross Income under the Affordable Care Act is available here.

Who is and isn’t insured, coverage affordability, job-based health coverage, the ACA, Covered CA, and Medi-Cal.

Affordability of coverage and care, underlying cost trends, and solutions.

Access to health coverage for immigrant families, undocumented Californians, and those with DACA.

California Simulation of Insurance Markets model projections, reports, and methodology.

Research & Publications

Miranda Dietzand Laurel Lucia

Measuring Consumer Affordability is Integral to Achieving the Goals of the California Office of Health Care Affordability

Consumer health care affordability has deteriorated over the past two decades in California due to rising premiums along with increasingly common and increasingly large deductibles for job-based coverage. This report documents these trends and their implications for Californian’s health and financial well-being, and recommends how California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability can monitor consumer affordability metrics in order to ensure that consumers benefit from the office’s efforts to control growth in per capita health care spending.

Press Coverage

Capital & Main

More Than Half of Californians Skip or Delay Medical Care Due to Cost

“I think we know that health care is unaffordable, but to see how much that problem has gotten worse in 20 years is really something,” said Miranda Dietz, a policy research specialist at the UC Berkeley Labor Center and co-author of the report. “The costs are taking up more and more of a family’s budget.”

Daily Bruin

Gov. Gavin Newsom announces plan to modify scheduled health care wage increases

Lucia said intertwined concerns about the cost of SB 525 and the state budget deficit drove Newsom to request a collaborative revision of the law. However, she added that the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s cost estimate for SB 525 is far lower than the circulating estimates, falling in the range of several hundred million dollars rather than billions of dollars.