The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Medicaid Delays Cause Mortality

Apr 25, 2022

A series of recent exposés have brought to light the deadly wait times for people who are under MediCal, California’s Medicaid system.

MediCal is the single largest provider in the State. This system serves 14 million people, that is, one in three Californians. Two million in Los Angeles alone. Yet, California ranks 48th, third lowest in the country, in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

The way the authorities finance MediCal has caused deadly wait times to begin with. Low reimbursement payments, making MediCal a second class insurance, contribute to doctor shortages in working class neighborhoods like South Los Angeles. The shortages are so severe, experts call them medical deserts.

Working class patients have to wait months and years just to see a doctor or have basic procedures, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. Such delays mean life and death for the working-class patients who have MediCal.

Neighborhoods don’t have trauma centers or specialists within a five-mile radius. Often, workers who live in these neighborhoods die from car accidents because it takes too long for the ambulance to get to the proper hospital.

State and Federal authorities are starving MediCal of funding while patients wait for months and years to be seen. All the while countless people die from preventable conditions.