Desperate Times for California’s Medi-Cal

March 26, 2010

With the country’s greatest number of uninsured residents, the largest public insurance program, and one of the lowest rates of physician reimbursement, California is struggling to provide health care to the 6.5 million people who need it.

With the country’s greatest number of uninsured residents, the largest public insurance program, and one of the lowest rates of physician reimbursement, California is struggling to provide health care to the 6.5 million people who need it. In late January, the California Senate approved a plan for implementing a single-payer health care system. Although the bill was sent to the assembly, Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) will veto it.1

California already faces a $20 billion budget deficit, and opponents of the bill say that the proposals simply do not make fiscal sense. As it is, the Medi-Cal program is barely sustainable, and further burdening hospitals and physicians with uncompensated care could cripple the system. Supporters of the bill believe that the gains would ripple through the economy, freeing up money for small businesses to expand, allowing employees more employment flexibility, and providing persons who are able to pay but have no access to coverage because of preexisting conditions a means to purchase health insurance.

References:

Reference
1. Greenson T. State budget battle gearing up. Times-Standard. 2010. http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_14371841. Published February 10, 2010. Accessed February 16, 2010.