What immediate impacts the ACA will have in the San Joaquin Valley?

Published on
February 19, 2014

In a region hobbled by the country's worst air pollution, high obesity rates, and lack of culturally sensitive doctors, Vida en el Valle will take a look at what immediate impacts the Affordable Care Act will have in the San Joaquin Valley.

I will explore the effectiveness of Covered California's outreach, education and enrollment of the uninsured Latino community in the Valley.

Read about the projects of other 2014 California Health Journalism Fellows.

According to Covered California, there are 7.1 million uninsured people in the state. From that number 5.3 millionCaliforniaresidents would be eligible to enroll in Covered California with 2.6 million qualifying subsidies. Half of those who qualify for subsidies are Latino and more than 25 percent primarily speak Spanish. In theSan JoaquinValleythere are 250,000 people who qualify for subsidies and 65,000 of them live in the Fresno area alone. In theSacramento area there are 130,000 people who qualify for subsidies. 

Covered California began an intensive courtship of Spanish-speaking, uninsured Californians with television commercials. Latinos are 40 percent of the population in California, but 61 percent of the uninsured and 28.8 percent of the population in the state speak Spanish only.

I will talk to area expect/health advocates and see what they believe it can be accomplish in the next two-five years after the implementation of the ACA by taking a look at the health care issues affecting vulnerable populations in the San Joaquin Valley.