In 2009, as the Great Recession bore down on California, lawmakers cut coverage of eyeglasses, podiatry, speech therapy and other benefits from the state’s low-income health program. A decade later, California will restore many of the cuts.
State lawmakers have approved a new budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year that seeks to make health care accessible and affordable to more people, including undocumented young adults.
More than 150,000 California children dropped out of federally funded health insurance programs in 2018, a trend some experts blame on the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and efforts to upend the Affordable Care Act.
Given that Medi-Cal covers around 5.5 million children—more than half of kids in the state—the number of children not accessing all the preventive services they’re entitled to accounts for close to a quarter of California’s children.
A federal judge prelimarily approved a lawsuit settlement earlier this month that would require the state to better provide in-home health care to California children and young adults with complex medical needs.
As rumors swirl in Los Angeles communities about proposed changes to federal immigration policy on who is considered a “public charge,” medical and legal aid providers are countering misinformation they say is putting immigrants’ health at risk.
Many counties already offered free rides, but they were rarely used. A new state law requiring free transportation is connecting many more low-income Californians to care.
The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles — one of the oldest cancer screening clinics in California — plans to shut down today after treating its last patients. The center is a victim of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to freeze enrollment in a cancer screening program for low-income women on Jan. 1 and pay for routine mammograms only for women after the age of 50. Those moves caused an abrupt drop in the Elizabeth Center’s patient load and revenues, which had already been strained as its costs exceeded what it was earning from the state.
A patient has asthma and needs medication to prevent a possible trip to the ER. The doctor prescribes it. But the state bureaucracy that runs the Medi-Cal program puts up a roadblock. After hours of follow-up, the doctor manages to navigate the system for her patient. The story illustrates why so many doctors have stopped taking Medi-Cal patients.
If someone handed Governor Schwarzenegger a check for a billion dollars, you probably wouldn’t expect him to tear it up or send it to Washington, D.C. to give to other states. But that’s exactly what he has proposed doing in his FY 2010/11 budget. And his budget would toss a million children’s reliable health care overboard at the same time.