Center in the News
In 2016, California launched a pilot program in 26 counties for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, to pay for some housing-related expenses such as security deposits and furniture, but not rent. A study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that the program saved taxpayers an estimated $383 per patient annually.
Over five years the program has reduced expensive hospital stays and emergency room visits for people on Medicaid, saving taxpayers an average of $383 per patient per year, according to an analysis by researchers at UCLA.
The study, based on responses to the 2021 California Health Interview Survey, reveals that 1 in 10 adults in the state, or approximately 3 million people, faced difficulties in paying for housing this year. Renters, in particular, were more vulnerable, with 18.6% reporting struggles to pay their landlords, compared to only 5% of homeowners who faced similar difficulties. Housing instability was also an issue for 4.4% of California adults.
CCT’s Youth Advisory Board write legislators in support of bill that would increase equitable mental health access for California youth
According to the California Health Interview Survey, from 2019 to 2021 about one-third of California youth ages 12-17 experienced serious psychological distress. Current law allows youth ages 12 and up to consent to outpatient mental health services without the consent of a parent or guardian, but that differs for youth who have Medi-Cal due to language in the Family Code.
Some 41% of Latino adults in California are unable to afford enough food, according to the UCLA California Health Interview Survey. Limited income creates limited food choices, leading to a reliance on cheap, processed, sugar-rich foods as well as a disconnect from traditional and healthier foodways.
Statewide, a survey conducted by AAPI Data and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that about one-third of Asians who reported difficulty accessing health care and mental health services cited limited language skills for a reason. Among those who are Chinese, the figure doubles for both categories.
Even before the shootings, more than two-thirds of Asian Americans in the state said they were worried about gun violence, the highest level among all racial groups, according to the 2021 California Health Interview Survey. Only one-third of whites, by contrast, responded similarly. Nearly half of Black and Asian American teens expressed concern about being victims of gun violence. Asian Americans have also expressed strong support for stricter gun laws.
In a precursor to the state’s current initiative, California experimented with a mix of housing assistance programs and social services through its “Whole Person Care” pilot program. Nadereh Pourat, of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, evaluated the program for the state concluding that local trials reduced emergency visits and hospitalizations, saving an average of $383 per Medi-Cal beneficiary per year — a meager amount compared with the program’s cost. Over five years, the state spent $3.6 billion serving about 250,000 patients enrolled in local experiments, Pourat said.
"In general, the cost of keeping someone at home, with a program like IHSS, is far less than if they were to end up in institutional care," said Kathryn G. Kietzman, director of the Health Equity Program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Miranda Dietz, a research and policy associate at UC Berkeley Labor Center, said the significant increase in the number of Californians with health insurance over the last two years would be in jeopardy without the federal subsidies. Dietz co-wrote a study in partnership with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research that projects that as many as 1 million people will forgo insurance in California next year if federal subsidies expire.