Health Care

Is California breaking its promise to cut health care costs?

A medical examination room in Fresno on June 8, 2022.

Brian Iv works in a factory in Orange County, earning around $26 per hour. He suffers chronic pain from a lifetime of manual labor jobs and previous workplace injuries, but often treats the pain with home remedies or traditional Cambodian practices. Going to the doctor is too expensive, he said.

Iv recently got a raise and was able to purchase health insurance through his company, but for a long time he had a Covered California Silver Plan, a mid-tier plan under the state’s version of the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace. A visit to a primary care doctor cost nearly $50, and every time Iv picked up a prescription it was an additional $10 to $15. It was a lot for someone living paycheck-to-paycheck with a little wiggle room in the budget.