The ACA covered millions of people and reduced the racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage in California; to take away these coverage options especially during a global pandemic and recession would exacerbate racial and ethnic inequality in California.
The ACA expanded coverage options available to low-income Californians and unemployed workers; to take away those options during a global pandemic and recession would compound the hardships faced by low-income households.
California’s Steps to Expand Health Coverage and Improve Affordability: Who Gains and Who Will Be Uninsured?
In 2019, state lawmakers took steps to protect California’s coverage gains and increase affordability of coverage by instituting a state individual mandate penalty, providing additional subsidies for Covered California’s individual market enrollees, and expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented young adults. California is the first state to include undocumented adults in full Medicaid benefits and the first to provide subsidies to middle-class consumers not eligible under the ACA.
3.6 Million Californians Would Benefit if California Takes Bold Action to Expand Coverage and Improve Affordability
Many California policymakers have expressed a desire and commitment to resist federal sabotage of the ACA, control health care costs, and achieve universal health care coverage. As the state explores ways to fundamentally redesign our health care delivery system—including by adopting a single payer or other unified public financing approach—state policymakers are also considering near-term policies that do not require federal approval but address the immediate challenges of improving affordability and expanding coverage.