By Jim Roope, CNN
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(CNN) – California is one of 17 states in the nation that has taken the federal government up on the option to roll out healthcare reform on its own.
The state will screen, pick and offer insurance plans to nearly 6 million residents who, under the new law, must have it by January 1, 2104. Peter Lee, the executive director of California’s healthcare exchange said it’s a complicated task, but California is too diverse for a one-size-fits-all plan or a free-for-all of providers.
[1:08] “It’s the biggest overhaul of healthcare since we launched Medicare 50 years ago; a total game-changer for health insurance in American…and California.”
Dr. Thomas Mahoney, Chief Medical Officer for CommuniCare Community Health Clinics in Sacramento, says six-million more Californians with health insurance doesn’t necessarily mean six-million new patients flooding doctors’ offices across the state.
[2:18] “We really feel that we’re very well equipped to take care of the patients that will be getting insurance because we’re already taking care of them when they don’t have insurance.”
Mahoney said the Affordable Care Act will also provide subsidies to clinics that will provide care to the largely uninsured undocumented immigrants population.