By Sarah Varney
SAN FRANCISCO — Americans have long stood out among residents of developed nations for how much they fret over, and are bankrupted by, health care costs.
But well into the second year of expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, those worries have eased significantly in the nation’s most populous state.
Californians no longer rank health care costs as their top financial concern.
“This was exactly the goal,” said Dr. Bob Kocher, a senior Obama White House official in 2009 and 2010 who helped draft the federal health care law. “Financial security was an enormous factor in our design.”
California has made swift gains in extending health coverage to its residents. It was one of just 15 states and the District of Columbia that opted for a state-based marketplace and expanded the publicly funded Medicaid program for low-income Americans.
Those moves have paid off: About two-thirds of Californians who were uninsured in 2013 now have health insurance, according to the survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which was released Thursday. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Foundation.) Continue reading