According to United Health Foundation statistics, California ranked as 17th of all the states for general good health in 2014, up four places on the previous year’s 21st position. As in many other states, the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) played a major role in California’s high rating as significantly more people now have affordable medical insurance in California.
The Golden State also benefited from the facts that the population in general are more physically active and less inclined to smoke. However, problems do exist, as a high level of air pollution in densely populated areas, coupled with a moderately high rate of crime, remain a threat to people’s health and well-being.
Effects of the Affordable Care Act
- Radical Change. Since its introduction in 2010, the ACA (or Obamacare as it is more commonly called) has been hailed as a huge success despite many initial doubts from opposition politicians and the general public. Not since Medicare and Medicaid came into existence in 1965 has the American health service seen such radical changes as more and more people have signed up for medical insurance in California and across the U.S.A.
- Better and Cheaper Care. The ACA has led to hospitals and doctors updating and streamlining their services and practices in order to improve the standards of patient care while also lowering costs and giving wider access to lower-income individuals and families who previously could not afford medical insurance.
- No Discrimination. Under Obamacare, every U.S. citizen under the age of 65 is entitled to health insurance from companies and it is, in fact, legally required. Major changes to insurance coverage were introduced which have now outlawed the practice of refusing coverage to people with a pre-existing illness or because of their sex or age.
- Competition. Health insurance companies must now meet minimum standards of coverage which also includes medical screenings, physical check-ups, vaccinations and other preventative procedures that are covered by Obamacare. With so many people signing up to Obamacare, the insurance companies have been forced to lower prices and offer better insurance packages in order to retain and increase their share of customers.
California Leads the Way
With the advent of Obamacare it was decided that the best way to reach the public was to set up state-based insurance marketplaces and primarily through the internet. Then governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger was quick to sign up to the program as California became the first of the states to pass the necessary bills supporting the scheme.
With the state’s backing, and the general popularity of Obamacare, the percentage of people without medical insurance in California has dropped by almost 10% in just two years although a sizable number are still without even basic coverage but the numbers are falling fast as more and more people realize the benefits of having adequate health insurance.Read More