As 1-in-3 Californians now on program for poor, Medi-Cal faces civil rights complaint.
One 2016 prediction is very easy to make: Obamacare will continue its trajectory of failure.
For example, Covered California has been heralded as one of the greatest state exchange successes for the “Affordable Care Act”.
The reality is that one-third of California’s residents are now using a system that was initially intended for the low income families.
The state’s health plan for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, now covers 12.7 million people, 1 of every 3 Californians.
If Medi-Cal were a state of its own, it would be the nation’s seventh-biggest by population; its $91-billion budget would be the country’s fourth-largest, trailing only those of California, New York and Texas.
“When the final numbers started coming out, where a third of the population was on Medi-Cal, it went way past anyone’s expectations,” said state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), who chairs the Senate Health Committee.
…”The Medi-Cal program continues to grow at a very substantial rate, which is great. We are very happy that we’re able to provide healthcare to getting close to 13 million Californians,” said Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director at the state Department of Health Care Services, at a hearing in downtown L.A. this month. But, Cantwell added: “Obviously with that comes cost.”
And that cost is ponderous, indeed:
Right now, the federal government is paying the cost of the new enrollees…so many thanks to my fellow Americans for chipping into our state coffers. Starting in 2017, California will have to begin paying 5% and by 2020, the state will be paying 10% of the costs.
All we would need to do is grow tobacco for cigars, and between the sunshine and “free” healthcare, it would be Cuba on the West Coast.
The news gets even better! As more people sign-on to the “free” program, fewer doctors are taking new patients and there are more delays in getting appointments, treatment, and actual healthcare.
Another easy 2016 prediction to make is that under Obama, any problem that can be blamed on race will be. In this case, a group of Californians filed a civil rights complaint against Medi-Cal, alleging that failures in the program have made it so that Latinos are unable to access the healthcare they need.
Because Medi-Cal covers a population that is so heavily Latino, the complaint alleges, it fosters a “separate and unequal system of health care” that amounts to a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The complaint cites a recent study that found that cancer patients with Medi-Cal were generally less likely to have their cancers caught at early stages, receive recommended treatments and be alive five years after diagnosis, compared to those with other types of insurance.
The complaint also alleges violations of a federal law that requires Medicaid programs offer enough doctors for patients, as well as a section of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination in health programs that receive federal funding.
The complaint demands an increase in Medi-Cal-provided reimbursement rates and improved monitoring of the Medi-Cal program.
And the last easy 2016 prediction to make is that California governance will continue to be bereft of common sense and fiscal responsibility.DONATE
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