Publication Date: November 2007
Publisher: California HealthCare Foundation
Research Area: Health
The number of uninsured Californians under age 65 continues to rise as employer-sponsored health insurance declines. Some who lose insurance at their workplace are buying individual policies; others become eligible for coverage through public programs like Medi-Cal. But more than 20% of Californians remain uninsured. The problem, though national, is more prominent in California, which has a lower percentage of individuals with employer-sponsored coverage and a higher proportion of uninsured. And because of California's large population, the number of people without insurance -- 6.6 million -- is the highest of any state. Reacting to inaction at the federal level, California is pursuing solutions closer to home. In 2006, California enacted legislation (SB 1448) that provides $540 million in new federal funds for local efforts to expand health coverage and care to uninsured individuals. And, in 2007, coverage expansion and health reform are high on the Sacramento policy agenda.
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