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This report will provide an overview of legislative and gubernatorial efforts to increase the number of Californians with health insurance. It will review the state's health care policy for the medically indigent for the period from 1918 until the present, and will describe legislative proposals to increase the number of insured. The review will also indicate whether the proposals were financed by regressive or progressive revenue taxes, fees, or insurance premiums. Over that period, legislators introduced at least 44 measures to reduce the number of medically uninsured people in California. There also were four ballot measures that would have increased health care coverage.

The report will also briefly discuss three important issues that are central to increasing the number of insured in California. These are the effects of employer mandates on businesses and the economy, requirements of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and the affects of increasing health care costs on employee-based health care coverage.

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