Up to 92 percent of Californians under 65 covered by Obamacare, study says


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Nine out of 10 Californians under the age of 65 will receive health coverage by 2019 with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, according to a study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Researchers from the centers developed a California Simulation of Insurance Markets computerized model to predict changes in health coverage in California under the act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. The study was funded by the California Health Benefit Exchange, an insurance marketplace for consumers scheduled to open in 2014 following the act.

Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center and co-author of the study said that the research will help the exchange establish priorities in a strategic direction for insurance policies and help the public understand the impact of the act.

“We have lots of demographic data like how does this break down by race, ethnicity, and language for outreach strategies,” Jacobs said. “… It is also important for the general public to understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act.”

According to the report, the CalSIM model uses two scenarios, one based on typical responses by consumers to expanded coverage offerings.

The more comprehensive scenario projects that between 89 and 92 percent of Californians under the age of 65 will have health coverage by 2019, compared to the 84 percent who will have health coverage without the act.

Richard Figueroa, director of Health & Human Services for California Endowment, a statewide private health foundation that supported CalSIM, said the study was important to his foundation because it wanted to make sure people had appropriate access to insurance under the act.

“Cal Endowment has a strong interest within the body of work in making sure policymakers in California have the right tools to figure out who would be covered and who would be left out in order to implement the appropriate response,” Figueroa said. “CalSIM is the direct outgrowth in our strong interest in policy and making sure the people are educated in the implications of (the act).”

Shawn Lewis, a UC Berkeley senior and executive director of Berkeley College Republicans, expressed opposition to the act after seeing the results of the study. Lewis said the number of people covered will not be much use if the healthcare costs are unsustainable.

“Healthcare reform needs to be fundamentally about cost control, not just about the number of people covered,” Lewis said in an email. “Under Obamacare, healthcare costs skyrocket, especially for college students.”

Lewis said the act makes it illegal for any insurance plan to cap benefits some colleges offer their students, making the costs for many student insurance plans increase significantly.

Despite the large proportion of people the act will impact, Jacobs said the results also projected that three to nearly four million will remain uninsured, including one million immigrants.

Jacobs said these numbers outline the purpose of the study, which is to show that outreach and cultural competency around the act is vital to the number of people who would benefit from the act.

“The key point in the model is that what is done around implementation matters a lot … All has to be done to make sure that (policies) are simple, easy, and culturally competent,” Jacobs said.

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  • anon

    That’s ROMNEYCARE! (and a ‘thumbs up’ from CJ Roberts :)

  • Another amateurish attempt at passing off political propaganda as “news”. Yawn…

  • Guest

    A very biased bar graph of the percentage of people covered. The proposed increase (“assuming high enrollment”) is from 84% to 89%-92%. But the graph makes it look like there’s a fourfold increase in the number of people covered.

    Shame on Daily Cal for this liberal bias!

    • libsrclowns

      We will vet Libs then mock them.

  • Current student

    0% will be covered after it is found unconstitutional by the supreme court.

  • 1776

    We won’t make it to 2019, the cost of Obamacare is estimated to be 3 to 5 times the original cost, probably much more by 2019. I thought Obama said the healthcare bill was debt neutral?

    • libsrclowns

      Ofraud is already working on Plan B after SCOTUS strikes down this monster.

      • Sales

         Don’t you have anything better to do with your life than to post on here day after day? Is someone forcing you to read a college newspaper?

        • libsrclowns

          Is someone forcing you to read my posts?

        • reztips

          Mr. Sales, is your first name “Soupy?”

          Also, if you believe only students should read the DC, do you then believe that you should read nothing more than what stems from the college level? Actually, this may be the case as you certainly demonstrate how poorly read you are…

      • physics-and-baccarat

         We wouldn’t have much of a problem with it had the act provided coverage for all Americans…

        But I figure that as long as the “fuck you, I’ve got mine” attitude holds, that won’t happen. And thus the unemployed will die of a variety of treatable illnesses, unremarked and unsung. It’s a pity, but a cost of ignorance over the real lack of revenue created by an afflicted population who have medical conditions that amplify without treatment, subsequently causing inability to work.

        It’s a real pity, LRC, that you won’t get in an unfortunate accident that debilitates your career. I suspect that then, you’ll still be railing about how no one should get health care because like all victims of abuse, you want everyone to suffer with you. But it’d be interesting to see such a person fall – if only for entertainment value.

        Till then, the incumbent always has an advantage and the supreme court will continue to declare that mandated health insurance is like mandating broccoli. Ah, we are all foolish apes.