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California Watch

News stories in this section spotlight activities in California, including actions by the state Assembly and state Senate; proposed legislation; regulators like the Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance; and the state ACA exchange, Covered California.

Single-Payer Healthcare Is A ‘Tough, Tough Sell’ As California Faces Massive Budget Shortfall

California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas cast doubt on the latest proposal to create a state-run single-payer healthcare system, saying he likes the idea but isn’t convinced the state can afford it in the face of a budget shortfall of at least $38 billion.

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California Wants To Make Your Healthcare Less Expensive

Californians have racked up billions of dollars in medical debt. Two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature granted authority to a new agency, the Office of Health Care Affordability, to rein in health costs that were racing ahead of residents’ ability to pay. But this effort is in danger of being watered down before it can benefit them.

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California Gov. Newsom Wants Voters to Approve Billions More to Help the Homeless. Will It Help?

California voters will decide March 5 whether to pump billions more dollars into combating the nation’s worst homelessness crisis, an investment Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom argues will finally provide the housing and treatment so badly needed by tens of thousands of homeless people. Newsom is spearheading Proposition 1, a $6.4 billion bond he says would fund 11,150 ...

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New Eligibility Rules Are a Financial Salve for Nearly 2 Million on Medi-Cal

Millions of Medi-Cal beneficiaries can now save for a rainy day, keep an inheritance, or hold on to a modest nest egg, without losing coverage, thanks to an eligibility change phased in over the past year and a half. It also has opened the door for thousands who previously did not qualify for Medi-Cal, the health insurance ...

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More Than Half of Californians Skip or Delay Medical Care Due to Cost

Californians have been absolutely hammered by insurers and providers over the past 20 years. As a result, many of the state’s residents either don’t use their health coverage even though they need it, or they go into debt trying to pay for the insurance and the medical costs their plans don’t cover.

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California Achieves Near-Universal Coverage, But Budget Deficits And Single-Payer Proposals Remain

On January 1, 2024, California took a significant step toward achieving universal health coverage for its residents. By expanding its Medi-Cal program, the state now ensures that every resident, regardless of immigration status, has the opportunity to receive comprehensive medical services and health care coverage.

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California Wants To Cap Your Medical Bills. Guess Who’s Pushing Back

A new state office charged with controlling the rising cost of health care in California is moving toward one of the most aggressive goals in the nation, aiming to cap cost increases to 3% a year.

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California Lawmaker Takes Another Shot At Single-Payer Health Care

This isn’t the first time Assemblymember Ash Kalra has tried to create a single-payer health coverage system in California. The San Jose Democrat first introduced Assembly Bill 1400 about three years ago. Called Guaranteed Health Care for All, it sought to create CalCare — a universal, single-payer health care coverage and cost control system for the state. ...

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Covered California Individual Open Enrollment Deadline Extended: What To Know

Californians aiming to sign up for health insurance through the state’s Covered California marketplace have a little extra time, with the open enrollment deadline extended until Friday, officials said.

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UCSF To Pay $100 Million To Acquire Two Struggling S.F. Hospitals

UCSF Health has confirmed that its $100 million deal to acquire two struggling San Francisco community hospitals is just weeks away from closing. The city’s preeminent medical research institution has signed an agreement to purchase St. Mary’s Medical Center at 450 Stanyan St. — San Francisco’s oldest Catholic hospital — and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital at 900 ...

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