Will Lightbourne, the new director of the California Department of Health Care Services, says government must address the racial disparities laid bare by COVID-19 and improve care for the state’s most vulnerable residents.
State officials had projected that 2 million Californians would join Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income people, by July because of the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. Yet enrollment has barely budged, and why is unclear.
State legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom have hammered out an agreement on a budget that rejects Newsom’s proposed cuts to health care services for older and low-income people.
Safety-net health care programs that keep low-income Californians out of nursing homes are on the chopping block as Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers attempt to plug a massive budget deficit caused by the COVID-19 emergency.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom charged into 2020 with ambitious — and expensive — proposals to increase health insurance coverage, reduce homelessness and tackle drug prices. Then came COVID-19.
Budget cuts in 2009, sparked by the Great Recession, eliminated many needed health care services, like regular foot care for people with diabetes to minimize the risk of amputation. The restored benefits also include eyeglasses, speech therapy and hearing exams.
California’s health insurance program for low-income people grew 78% between 2010 and 2019 to 12.8 million enrollees. The federal Affordable Care Act spurred the increase, aided by state policies broadening eligibility.
A new state law limits what consumers owe if they’re transported by an air ambulance that’s not part of their insurance network to the amount that they’d be charged if they used an in-network provider. But the law won’t protect millions of consumers whose health plans aren’t regulated by the state.
California now will pay pediatricians to screen Medi-Cal patients for traumatic events known as adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. The program is based on research showing that children who endure chronic stress have an increased risk of developing serious health problems. Here are five things to know about the new program.
Jane Garcia is CEO of La Clínica de La Raza, which operates more than 30 clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area serving a high percentage of immigrant patients. She has challenged state and federal immigration policies in court, including the Trump administration’s recent attempt to expand the “public charge” rule.