Many recent health care reform proposals have included some form of “individual mandate” — a legal requirement that every citizen obtain adequate health insurance coverage. People who don’t receive coverage through their employer or some other group would be required to purchase their own individual coverage; failure to do so would result in fines or other penalties. This background report from the California Research Bureau looks at the pros and cons of the individual mandate — how many uninsured people would likely be covered, the costs of implementation, administration, and enforcement, and likelihood of compliance, based on similar policies in other areas (auto insurance, child support payments, immunizations).
As the Obama administration continues its push for health-care reform, many have voiced concern over the economic cost of enacting health-care reform during a time of economic crisis. Looking at the issue from another angle, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education examines health coverage trends to calculate the costs of not acting on reform proposals. By 2012, they predict a possible increase of 4.2 million uninsured working-age adults in the United States and 600,000 uninsured working-age adults in California over pre-recession 2007 levels.
Federal welfare funding in California is dependent on a percentage of adult welfare recipients being employed at least part-time or engaged in “work-related activities.” A work participation rate under 50% can result in a loss of federal funding. Recent statistics indicate California falls far short of that rate. In this report, PPIC examines the potential effects of proposed policy changes (increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies) to improve this rate.
Two reports take a hard look at why Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, succeeded, and explore possible strategies for future campaigns.
The California Budget Project has issued a series of reports analyzing the impact of the Governor’s budget on local communities. These new analyses include county-by-county breakdowns showing the impact to schools and programs, including CalWORKs, IHSS, and SSI/SSP.
The Public Policy Institute of California does the numbers on Proposition 8: Eliminating Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. A breakdown of the final vote by party, political ideology, presidential choice, religion, education, income, age, marital status, and race/ethnicity tells a story of a California with multiple divisions.
While 2007 saw small gains in the number of Californians with health insurance, data suggests that the recession of 2008 will reverse that trend. The safety net that Medi-Cal and Healthy Families have provided for many children and some adults will be in greater demand if the recession deepens and persists, as is expected.
A new report from the California Budget Project highlights state demographic trends that are likely to shape and influence public policy over the next 12-15 years. The three major trends that the report discusses:
- Between 2000 and 2020, California will have added 10 million people, “roughly equivalent to the population of Michigan.”
- By 2020, the percentage of whites/Anglos in the state will have decreased to 37.5%, and African-Americans will have decreased to 5.4%. Latinos will have increased to 41.4%, and Asians will have increased to 12.5%.
- By 2020, the number of Californians over the age of 65 will have increased by 75%.
The report recommends more investment in infrastructure, education, and care and services for older Californians. The executive director of the California Budget Project, Jean Ross, is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article today as saying, “We need to decide what is going to be the role of state policies. If not, we’re not going to have an economy that can compete globally.”
Proposition 8, which qualified for the November ballot on June 2, would amend the state constitution to read that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
According to a new Field Poll, if the election were held today, a slight majority of voters would reject this ballot measure (by a 51% to 42% margin). Geographic and partisan differences are significant. In the coastal regions of the state, voters oppose Proposition 8 by a margin of 56% to 37%, while in the inland regions, supporters outnumber opponents by 54% to 40%. 63% of Democrats polled say that they intend to vote against the amendment. 68% of Republicans say that they intend to vote for it. There are also significant differences in opinion depending on ethnicity (Hispanics tend slightly to favor the amendment and other ethnic groups tend slightly to oppose it), religion (Protestants favor the amendment by 56% to 40%, while Catholics are evenly divided), and whether the voter knows someone who is gay or lesbian (those who do oppose the amendment 54% to 40%).
The poll also indicates that voter awareness about Proposition 8 is already fairly high, with 62% saying that they had seen or heard something about it.
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law recently released an analysis which estimates that the economic benefit to state and local government revenues from extending marriage to include same-sex couples would be $63.8 million over 3 years. The analysis is based on the estimated number of same-sex couples who would be expected to marry in California; the increase in tax revenues from same-sex wedding tourism; and the increase in revenue from marriage license fees. (The analysis does not include the revenue that would be generated by same-sex couples having their marriage ceremonies performed by the county clerk’s office in which they obtain their licenses.)