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Healthcare is a growing issue in California today, where 2.7 million Californians are uninsured. Residents are being forced to pay high out-of-pocket costs due to insurance costing more money than what they would spend on actual care. Healthcare insurance premiums for employer coverage have increased 249% between 2002 and 2017. The average annual premium costs for single coverage insurance rose 4% to $7,470 and the annual premium for family coverage also rose 4% in 2020 to $21,342, which is nearly 1/3 of the state's median family income. The increasing prices are being driven by health care industry consolidation as well as anti-competitive behavior. These high prices are concerning considering that between 2008 and 2018, real median wages for Californians mostly stagnated while premiums continued to increase, even after accounting for inflation.

Currently, there is no single state agency responsible for monitoring health care cost trends across job-based coverage, individual markets, or medicare. However, the California State Government is considering creating an Office of Healthcare Affordability with an Office of Statewide Planning and Development. This department was initially part of Governor Gavin Newsom's 2020 budget proposal, but it was abandoned amiss the state's Covid-19 response. Now, this department has been proposed again in the California Health Care Quality and Affordability Act, which will be used to collect state healthcare expenditure data. If passed, the first annual report on the data collected would be published before June 26, 2026, which would provide policy solutions for addressing high healthcare costs. This act passed through the California State Assembly on June 3, 2021 and now awaits approval by the California State Senate.