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California Health Leaders Call for “Culture of Coverage”

California health officials are talking about creating a “culture of coverage.” It was part of the discussion at a forum yesterday about the next steps in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Key players in the implementation of the federal health overhaul in California say the public should be part of building a ‘culture of coverage.’

Kim Belshe is on the board of the California Health Benefit Exchange. She says it’s important to create a new norm in which health insurance is both available and expected. “This idea of a no wrong door where people can connect to coverage through their schools through businesses, through community organizations, through their churches.”

But Daniel Zingale of the California Endowment says creating a ‘culture of coverage’ in the state must include undocumented immigrants. “The reality is, you know, that undocumented people are here, they’re working, they’re paying taxes, they’re raising families, and for us to try to pretend as if they’re not part of the health care system in this state is foolish.”

Zingale says health costs rise when some segments of the population are not insured.

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