SACRAMENTO – Health care advocates warn that time is running out on drawing down federal dollars to expand Medi-Cal, a move that would prevent nearly 1.4 million low-income Californians from remaining uninsured when health care reform is fully implemented Jan. 1, 2014.
“California must take aggressive action now to implement the Medi-Cal expansion program fully and urgently for our health system and our economy,” asserted Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, while speaking at a press conference organized by the coalition here at the State Capitol on Thursday.
“If we don’t put together an infrastructure, we will be leaving behind federal dollars in D.C., instead of bringing them into our economy,” he added.
Health care advocates and lawmakers noted that up until now, California has been at the forefront of implementing a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It was the first state, for example, to pass legislation to set up the online exchange where people can purchase affordable and federally subsidized health insurance coverage, starting in January.
But recent disagreements between Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration and Democratic lawmakers over the Medi-Cal expansion program have left California trailing behind other states in ACA implementation.
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