The 2016 Presidential Election brought a large shift in policy opinion and direction.
Reports on the current progress due to actions of the Obama administration are likely to be used as a base of comparison in the coming years. Most notably, the progress due to affordable health insurance. Unlike car insurance or homeowners insurance, health insurance is something Americans struggle with getting for both their family and themselves. America struggles in policy creation by deciding whether to make plans affordable for mass consumption or left for those who can afford them.
The Affordable Care Act, according to reports from the UCLA Newsroom, has allowed only 8.5% of California residents under 65 years old to go without any type of health insurance in 2017. With this rate being 15.5% for 2013, this decrease in uncovered individuals is “the state’s lowest-ever noninsured rate for a second year” as stated by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. In terms of people, these percentages translate to 2.8 million Californians younger than 65 going without healthcare, which is down from the 2013 figure at 5.1 million people.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act granting more people coverage, federal changes in policy that are coming this January may reverse this. Other aspects of health the UCLA research looked at were mental health, the emotions, and behavior of children, interest in voting, daily exercise among adults, marijuana use, smoking, dental coverage, and diabetes.
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The study found that “the percentage of Californians ages 18 to 24 who said that they had psychological distress in the past year was 21.1 percent, up 6.9 percentage points from 2016 — and more than double the figure for all adults, which was 10 percent.” As for children’s emotions, “for children between the ages of 4 and 11, parents reported that 18 percent had issues with behavior, controlling emotions, concentrating or getting along with others; 7.1 percent of all children in that age range had severe behavioral issues.”
The examination of daily exercise for adults found that 20.6 percent participated in some type of daily exercise, with 14.5 partaking three days a week, and 19.2 skipping workouts altogether. Marijuana use increased with “slightly more adult Californians [having] tried marijuana or hashish [51 percent] than haven’t [49 percent].”
Other notable statistics found that smoking tobacco dipped in terms of adult use in 2017, with the percentage of adults who have never smoked reaching a record high rate of 68 percent. There was an increase in dental care, with 65 percent of adults having this type of coverage compared to the 61.3 percent of 2016. Finally, adults suffering from diabetes did see an increase from 9 to 10.7 percent, a continual trend.