Jan 19, 2015
From January 1, 2015, California’s reimbursement rates to Medi-Cal patients will drop by more than 60 percent, because of cuts to the program funds by federal and state governments. Medi-Cal is California’s version of the Medicaid program, providing health insurance for low income working people. With these cuts, California’s Medi-Cal reimbursement rates became the lowest in the U.S.
These low reimbursement rates will result in fewer physicians willing to treat Medi-Cal patients, causing some patients to wait for months for an appointment to see a primary care provider. Some will end up receiving no health care.
This drastic healthcare cut affects a very large number of Californians. This year, total Medi-Cal enrollment is expected to reach 12.2 million, about one-third of the state’s population.
The healthcare funding was cut while California has had huge budget surpluses in 2013 and 2014. The forecasted budget surplus for 2015 is 3.2 billion dollars. But, although there is a surplus, the Medi-Cal cuts will remain in the budget, according to Governor Jerry Brown’s recent announcement.
In reality, the budget surplus would be larger if there were no tax cuts to companies. Last year, California gave away 420 million dollars in additional tax cuts to the aero-space industry and tripled the tax cuts to the movie industry, which got 330 million dollars. These are only two examples among many huge tax cuts provided to the corporations and rich people.
To satisfy the rich, the health of the working people takes a hit.