By Deborah Schoch and Lauren M. Whaley, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
Dr. Hector Flores marvels at the impact of health reform on his Montebello family practice. The number of uninsured patients, he said, has been cut almost in half.
For Flores, who describes himself as “a Latino who grew up uninsured and knowing what it’s like to live one illness away from the poorhouse,” the federal law nicknamed “Obamacare” is a huge success.
Not all Californians agree, especially those who found their premiums going up or their favorite doctors not covered under new policies. But as the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enters its second year, few dispute that it is swiftly changing how health care works statewide.
The story of health reform in the Golden State is one of accelerating change, with both ominous and hopeful aspects.
California leads the nation in embracing the ACA. It enrolled more people than any other state this year, approximately 3.6 million, driving down the state’s uninsured rate from 17 percent to 11 percent.
Covered California — the state’s new marketplace, where health insurers compete for customers and the federal government offers subsidies on premiums — expects to enroll another 500,000 people by the time the current signup period ends Feb. 15.
Read more in HEALTH.