I'm confused already. Not to state the obvious, but this is immensely complicated stuff, with federal and state programs - and funding - already mixed into a kind of bureaucratic stew. Sorting out what programs poor people are eligible for and who will foot the bill will undoubtedly involve many more years of pushing and pulling. Even so, nearly 7 million people in the state are uninsured and 4 million of them are expected to receive new or improved coverage by 2019. That alone sounds like a very big deal. From KPCC:
California already has two so-called "bridge programs" that were created to provide health care to people with pre-existing conditions and to low income individuals until 2014, when those portions of the federal law are scheduled to kick in. The larger of the two is the Low Income Health Program--an expansion of Medi-CAL that has been temporarily funded by the federal government with matching dollars from county governments. More than 400,000 Californians are currently enrolled in the plan. The other affected "bridge program" is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which offers health coverage to medically-uninsurable Californians. There are nearly 12,000 people enrolled in the program.
From NBC Bay Area:
Dr. Caroline Hastings, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital in Oakland, said she personally has known "hundreds" of children with cancer who have not received the care they need because their parents' insurance companies have treated cancer as a pre-existing condition and denied coverage. Still, while Hastings was thrilled with the Supreme Court decision, she was skeptical of how it would actually play out. "It's great," she said. "But how is it feasible? What insurance product will be available that is comprehensive and affordable? Or, I worry that the insurance that will be affordable will be like not having insurance at all."