Many Can’t Afford An Exchange Plan

More than a third of the uninsured say they tried to get coverage through the exchanges, but found it too expensive, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. When asked why they don’t have health insurance, 39% say that it’s too expensive; 22% are unemployed or working for an employer that doesn’t offer coverage; 11% haven’t gotten around to getting coverage or missed the deadline to apply, and 9% say they don’t want or need coverage. Despite the announcement that at least 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the ACA’s new marketplace, favorability of the law remains exactly where it was in last month’s tracking poll, with 46% of the public saying they have an unfavorable view and 38% a favorable view. This is a slight improvement over polls taken from November through January, but still represents a more negative tilt to opinion than was measured in Kaiser tracking surveys before the troubled launch of the exchanges last October. However, the public is inclined to give the law a chance to work rather than throwing it out and starting over. Fifty-eight percent want their representative in Congress to work to improve the law while 35% want them to work on repealing it and replacing it with something else. For more information, visit

Half of California Voters Can’t Afford Health Care

Fifty percent of California voters have difficulty affording health care, and 73% say insurance costs are the most difficult to afford, according to a survey by Consumer Watchdog. Consumer Watchdog is pushing a ballot measure that would enable the Insurance Commissioner to reject any rate increase that he feels is too high.

Health insurance premiums rose 170% in the last decade, more than five times the 31.5% rate of inflation over the same period, according to the California HealthCare Foundation. In recent years, consumers’ health insurance premiums continued to rise in the double digits even as medical spending slowed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in January that health spending increased just 3.9% in 2011, a record low pace of growth for the third year in a row. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index said the cost of medical care services increased just 3.7% in 2012.

The Health Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability act is modeled after California’s successful insurance reform law, Proposition 103, which regulates auto, home and business insurance rates and requires insurers to get approval for rate increases. For more information, visit

Last Updated 06/23/2021

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