It’s hard to find any government program that helps both the physical and financial health of many Californians and also fattens the state’s own coffers.
But a new study from UC Berkeley indicates that’s how parts of the federal Affordable Health Care Act may play out, in spite of all its vocal detractors.
The controversial law, shunned by governors and legislators in most of the 23 states where Republicans enjoy full control, already has seen more than 450,000 young adults in California gain insurance coverage and state residents on Medicare save upwards of $600 million on prescription drugs, compared to what they paid in 2009-10.
But the really big benefits for California are yet to come, says the report, authored principally by policy analyst Laurel Lucia of Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education. The study does not consider Obamacare’s effects on businesses or on individuals who already have health insurance, nor does it include a $674 million federal grant awarded in mid-January to help set up the “Covered California” insurance exchange...