Health Access California today released new data on the statewide impacts of the proposed federal Build Back Better bill on California’s health care as Congress continues to negotiate a final deal. The new data includes how many Californians would benefit from improved Medicare benefits and extended ACA affordability assistance, and how much Californians might save from these and other reforms, including efforts to negotiate and lower prescription drug prices. You can find the statewide fact sheet here: Build Back Better: What’s at Stake for California’s Health.
During today’s Covered California board meeting, Peter Lee, the first Executive Director of Covered California, announced he will be departing the role in February of next year. Covered California, established in 2010, was the first state-based exchange to be created after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Lee took the helm in 2011 and working alongside advocates, health plans, and enrollers, built an exchange that now enrolls over 1.5 million Californians and serves as a model for the nation.
Following a year that has seen the greatest investment in the Affordable Care Act since the law took effect, Covered California, the state’s health care insurance marketplace, today announced its third straight year of minimal premium rate increases.
In fact, earlier this year, virtually all in Covered California saw reductions in their premiums through federal subsidies, which will continue in 2022. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Biden Administration took action to increase subsides for those who purchase health care on their own via the marketplace, capping premiums to 8.5% of income across the board – and much lower for middle and lower income consumers. These actions, along with state affordability assistance, have significantly reduced costs for the nearly 1.6 million enrollees in Covered California, leading to higher enrollment and a more stable market.
Today Governor Gavin Newsom signed one of the key pieces of the 2021-22 state budget, the health budget trailer bill (AB 133) which includes historic funding in Californian’s health system, making it more universal, equitable, and affordable in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Today’s signing ensures a first-in-the-nation end to the exclusion of income-eligible undocumented adults age 50 and over in Medi-Cal. Other major initiatives improve and expand Medi-Cal, and make Covered California more affordable.
Today 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.
Tonight, state legislative leaders today announced the outlines of a 2021-2022 budget agreement with Governor Newsom that includes funding for a more universal, equitable, and affordable, health care system. The final deal includes historic investments in our health system, including a first-in-the-nation end to the exclusion of income-eligible undocumented adults age 50 and over in Medi-Cal.
In a huge victory for Americans and Californians, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 7-2 ruling in California v. Texas that keeps the Affordable Care Act (ACA) intact for the over 30 million Americans and 5 million Californians who rely on it’s protections and financial assistance. The Court found that the plaintiffs who sought to overturn the law lacked the standing to challenge it in the first place.
Today the California State Assembly and State Senate voted to pass a 2021-2022 state budget that includes funding for a more universal, equitable, and affordable, health care system. While the Legislature is in agreement on this version of the budget, negotiations continue with Governor Newsom on a final deal.
Today, the California Assembly passed AB 1130 by Assemblymember Jim Wood, to implement a new statewide Office of Health Care Affordability, a bold effort to address the rising cost of health care, on a preliminary 44-12 vote.
Governor Gavin Newsom today unveiled the 2021- 22 May Revision of the state budget, which includes some important investments to improve and expand our health care system, but also missed major opportunities for expansion and improvement. “The pandemic underlined the urgency of fixing the inequities in health care, and this proposed budget makes some important investments to expand and improve our health system, while missing other major opportunities to meet urgent ongoing needs, especially given the size of the surplus,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.