Report: Disparities Will Remain for Millions of Californians After ACA
Health care disparities will remain for millions of California residents who will not receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report released Thursday by the Health Access Foundation, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Once the ACA is fully implemented, three million to four million California residents still could lack health insurance, according to observers (Cadelago, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/7). Such residents likely will include:
- Undocumented immigrants;
- Individuals who missed enrollment deadlines; and
- Individuals who are exempt from the mandate to buy insurance (Bartolone, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/7).
Details of the Report
While all counties in California are required to provide care for uninsured individuals, only a few allocate funding to provide health care services for undocumented immigrants, according to the report.
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, said the findings show that California's health care safety net "is a widely divergent patchwork and could become more so if we do not actively engage in the next few weeks and months" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/7).
"A family with the same circumstances in different counties will have potentially different access to care and to coverage as a result of their income or immigration status," Wright said.
He added that a lack of uniform basic care could leave some state residents "with delayed or denied care," which could lead to "significant health consequences" ("KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/7).
State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) said the report reveals a two-tiered health care system in California. "We have one for those who can afford it and have the means," he said, adding, "And we have one for those who are poor and don't have access to health care."
Hernandez also said that for health care reform to be successful, "we have to look at addressing the neediest and the uninsured or the under-insured and more importantly the safety net, whether it's the community health centers or county health systems" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/7).
For more information on the report, check out today's "Capitol Desk" post.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.