Mark Herbert, California director for Small Business Majority, Concord

Although California leads the nation in expanding healthcare coverage, too many middle income entrepreneurs and small business employees are struggling to afford health insurance. Something is being done about this problem, but it isn’t quite enough just yet.

As part of the next state budget, California will offer healthcare premium assistance to include people who make up to 600 percent of the federal poverty level, which will impact middle class Californians who do not qualify for assistance but often struggle to afford their insurance.

In fact, the median self-employed individual income in California is several thousand dollars below the median household income, but still slightly above the current cutoff to receive subsidies.

Expanding cost-sharing assistance is essential to entrepreneurs, and this is a significant step forward. But lawmakers need to make sure this proposal has the resources needed to be meaningful, and we hope future budgets offer even more assistance.


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