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Monday, Sep 25, 2023

UCLA Study Claims Health Insurance Within Reach for All Californians

The authors of a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research report that the biggest challenge in delivering health coverage the state’s 6 million uninsured residents is not finding new revenue streams, but consolidating the various federal, state and county programs into a single budget. Approximately $13.4 billion is available every year to cover uninsured Californians. If that amount was increased to $14.3 billion, the state could afford to cover every uninsured resident. “The information in this policy brief can be used by county governments and the state to formulate health policy options that address the high cost of uninsurance across the state and at the county level,” said Gerald F. Kominski, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the lead author of the study, in a news release. “A viable alternative is to consolidate all of the varied sources of revenue currently being spent in dozens of ways to provide various fixes to this enormous problem.” “The benefits resulting from expanding health coverage to California’s uninsured far outweigh the relatively modest cost increase to the state,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “More working Californians and their families than ever are doing without primary and preventive care, often because they are not offered health coverage by their employers or because they are being squeezed out of the health insurance market due to annual double-digit premium increases. By preventing and effectively managing chronic health conditions, we can reduce health care costs improve health and increase worker productivity.”

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