Affordable Care Act

Twelve Years of the ACA in California

A Look Back at the Dozen Years of Implementing & Improving the Affordable Care Act, and More in CA The last decade+ in California was built on two major events, which shaped the years ahead: The re-emergence of a major budget crisis in California in 2009. That year, major budget cuts triggered 10% provider rate cuts, and the elimination of dental and other benefits in Medi-Cal—benefits that took ten years to be restored. The passage and enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, with leadership from President Obama, and many California Congressional leaders (including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, key committee chairs Waxman, Miller, and Stark, and many others). Since then, California’s actions to implement and improve upon […] Read More

2021 Year In Review: Major CA Health Reforms to Last Even Beyond the Pandemic

Despite the ongoing challenges through the pandemic, this was a major year of health reform in California. Health Access was proud to champion and collaborate on a number of historic investments in the state budget and reforms through legislation in 2021—victories that provided new coverage to hundreds of thousands, and new financial assistance to many more, while working to make health plans and the health system more accountable for quality and equity. These reforms will not only benefit Californians immediately, but create lasting change that will be felt even beyond the pandemic.  RESPONDING TO THE PANDEMIC The ongoing public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced our advocacy in a number of ways this year. Health Access was an […] Read More

California Health Consumers to Benefit as U.S. House Passes Build Back Better Bill

On Friday, November 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, with 42 California congressmembers voting to advance the historic legislation that would help lower health care costs and otherwise make investments to improve our health care system. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration, and would come back to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to President Biden for a signature. The bill passed by the House is the most significant step to lower health costs and expand coverage since the Affordable Care Act. Millions of Californians will benefit from lower health care premiums, more affordable prescription drugs, and enhanced Medicare benefits. The bill helps lower health care costs for Californians, […] Read More

Federal Build Back Better Framework Includes Major Health Investments, Falls Short on Prescription Drug & Medicare Reform

Today President Biden announced a federal framework for the Build Back Better proposal that includes historic investments to help Californians afford their health care, but does not include key proposals around prescription drug price reform and expanding Medicare dental and vision benefits. The framework includes the continued expansion of financial help in Covered California, providing annual assistance of hundreds or, for many, thousands of dollars to 1.4 million enrollees—help that is especially urgent in our high cost-of-living state. The health of millions of Californians would benefit from this assistance to afford coverage, have Medicare covering hearing aids, and other investments in home care, child care, and much more. We are deeply disappointed that despite a broad popular support to have […] Read More

2021-22 CA Budget Takes Major Steps to a More Universal & Equitable Health Care System

The State Legislature passed the final 2021-2022 health budget bill (AB 133) that includes historic investments in expanding and improving health coverage for millions of Californians. It now goes to Governor Newsom for his final signature in the coming days. Many of the proposals included in this budget bill were key priorities of the Care4All California coalition of over 70 consumer, community, labor, progressive, and health care organizations working to advance the goal of quality affordable health care for all Californians as soon as possible. The coalition supported these investments which, working together, represent important steps to a more universal, equitable, and affordable health care system in California. These organizations pushed for key proposals to improve Medi-Cal and reduce health care disparities for low-income […] Read More

The ACA Turns 11 With Its Biggest Boost Ever

March 23rd marked the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act taking effect, and for all the good the law has done over the last decade, we are excited by new developments that will provide more help connecting Californians with coverage and care.  Thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, getting health care through the ACA is now more affordable than ever before for millions of Californians. On top of the immediate direct financial stimulus provided to many Americans, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is the biggest boost to health coverage affordability since the ACA, ensuring that no American has to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health care coverage when buying as an individual. This is an urgent and welcome relief for millions […] Read More

California Health Advocates Praise Federal Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill on ACA Affordability Assistance

California consumer and health advocates hailed the current COVID-19 relief package that passed the Senate this weekend for its historic investments in health care coverage and accessibility and urged its final passage in the House of Representatives. The package includes significant funding for vaccine distribution, direct income support to families, and aid to state and local governments that will assist in providing health and human services. Most notably, the federal bill provides historic financial assistance to help millions of Americans afford health coverage in the midst of this pandemic, ensuring that no American will pay more than 8.5% of their income on health care coverage. This premium relief builds on the work already done in California, where the state has been investing […] Read More

Twenty Takeaways from 2020

Protecting Our Progress and Confronting the Challenges of COVID-19 Like most Californians, we had high hopes for progress in 2020. The year began in earnest with the implementation of expanded access and affordability to coverage for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and ambitious plans to increase health industry oversight to control costs, improve quality and equity, and win key patient protections. When the pandemic hit in March, Health Access doubled-down on our commitment to protect California consumers, adapting quickly to the many changes in our health system and in response to COVID-19. This meant pausing some of our larger-scale efforts in the short-term in order to fight for consumer protections and access to care during a pandemic-induced economic downturn and […] Read More

COVID-19 and the ACA’s 10th Anniversary

On March 23, 2020, we mark the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Especially at this moment, we are grateful for the improvements in our health system that were sorely needed and now help at at time like this. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, California’s health system would be much less equipped to deal with the pandemic if the ACA had not been put in place. Prior to the implementation of the ACA: we had four million more uninsured Californians, and a uninsured rate of nearly 20%; we had more financially struggling hospitals and health providers, and we didn’t have the resulting surge in our health system capacity throughout the state; we had those who are […] Read More