California has been a national leader in helping people receive the health coverage they need since the enactment of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Until 2016, the share of Californians without health coverage dropped substantially. But this decline slowed significantly before finally stalling out in 2018, leaving close to 3 million Californians uninsured.
This recent trend in large part reflects two factors: 1) federal efforts to undermine the ACA and 2) state policymakers’ focus on protecting California’s health coverage gains rather than boosting state health investments. After Governor Gavin Newsom took office in January 2019, state policymakers’ approach shifted and several policies that aim to improve health coverage and affordability — all of which take effect in 2020 — were adopted. California can make further progress in 2020 and in the coming years to help more people access and afford coverage — so long as the ACA remains intact and state policymakers continue to build on the investments in health they’ve made in the last decade.
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Download chart – California’s Uninsured Rate Stalled Out in 2018