Is Our Healthcare System Still Broken?
California healthcare costs have long been high, but recent rises in premiums are pushing the politicians and the legislature to consider new avenues to ensure healthcare is affordable for its residents. Home to more than 40 million people, California is home to a variety of lifetlyles, and the state’s diversity in terms of rural and urban environments adds a number of additional difficulties. However, its economic prowess means California can succeed in areas where smaller states have historically failed.
In 2019, health insurance premiums for those buying plans on California’s healthcare exchange system, which was introduced to meet demands of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, are expected to rise 8.7 percent, pushing healthcare out of the reach of some California residents and creating burdens for others. However, this rise is smaller than previous years, which saw double-digit increases. Furthermore, many analysts state that a majority of these rising coses can be explained by actions from the Trump administration, leading some to claim that the system is, as a whole, a moderate success.
California’s legislature has been somewhat slow to react to these changes. Nevertheless, the California legislature is moving toward guaranteeing coverage for all Californians. Assembly Bill 1810 states that healthcare is a human right and that all Californians deserve affordable access to healthcare. Furthermore, the bill states an intent to halt the rise in healthcare prices.
However, the left-moving California legislature has yet to allow a vote on implementing a single-payer healthcare system across the state, an idea many politicians in California have embraced in recent years. Although the bill may be seen as a dodge, it does create the “Council on Health Care Delivery Systems,” which aims to propose options for moving California to a unified healthcare system. The councils results are due in late 2021, meaning California’s healthcare system is likely to remain as it is for the foreseeable future.
California’s healthcare system is, much like the nation as a whole, in a state of flux. Despite rising costs, the number of people uninsured in California has dropped significantly over the years. With a president and national legislature hostile to Obamacare, however, the future is difficult to predict.
Furthermore, the populist push toward single-payer healthcare might lead to radical changes in the near future.