We are at start of California Health Care Crisis

Here is what we already know. Thanks to Covered California, doctor Guv Brown and President Obama, Californians are paying more for their health care, getting less and must pay higher deductibles for service and drugs. This has caused many to not afford to use their insurance coverage. At the same time hospitals have been closed. In 2014 eight hospitals in Northern California were closed. A few days ago Attorney General Harris agreed to the sale of six Sisters of Charities hospitals, but with conditions that will scuttle the sale. These hospitals take care of the poor. When they close, because the SEIU doesn’t like the buyer, thousands of poor will be without health care.On January 1, Guv Brown and President Obama combined to cut Medi-Cal doctors reimbursement by 60%. This guarantees that fewer Medi-Cal card holders will have doctors and new card holders have no chance to find a doctor. How has Covered California handled this lack of physicians?

According to the Central Valley Business Times of February 17. 2015, “More than 779,000 consumers enrolled in Medi-Cal from Nov. 15 through Jan. 31.

“People who are uninsured want health coverage, and the significant growth in Medi-Cal enrollment during the past few months shows that the program is meeting an important need in our state,” California Department of Health Care Services Director Jennifer Kent says.”

So, with not a single extra doctor, Medi-Cal added three quarters of a million patients. Imagine what happens when they try to get service. They will find themselves back in Emergency Rooms, crowded by millions of other’s As of the beginning of February more than 12 million Californians are carrying Medi-Cal cards—one third of our populations. Two-thirds of us are paying for one-third to carry a card, some actually getting health care coverage.

Yet, this part of the story gets worse. If the Obama amnesty for illegal aliens is allowed, more than one million illegal aliens will qualify for free health care under Medi-Cal. Again, a million new patients and not a single new doctor. Seriously, this is why the California health care system will finally collapse. Doctors that can not get paid, premium paying patients that can not afford to pay the deductibles and the cost of drugs.

Speaking of drugs, if you are on a Covered California plan you already know that the doctors they list and hospitals involved in the network, many do not actually serve on the network. Covered California used the old bait and switch to get folks to sign up. Now, when the service is needed, the patients find out. Worse, Covered California also controls the drugs that a doctor can prescribe. If the drug you need is not on the government list, you either do without or pay for it yourself. Were this a private firm it would be shut down and officials facing criminal investigations.

Limited and expensive health care is not the major problem for California, these are problems to be faced by the middle class. The bigger problem is that after December 31, 2015, the $900 million Obama gave to California for the Medi-Cal program goes away. While our confused governor claims the State has a balanced budget, in reality we have $340 billion of debt and hundreds of billions in unfunded pension liabilities. Now we are going to face a health care crisis, how do we pay for the massive Medi-Cal program?

“For both Gov. Jerry Brown and Sacramento legislators, these trend lines have raised sharp worries, as McKnight’s news service reported:

“State lawmakers this week said the latest enrollment news is alarming, and that even if a new pending rate request hike goes through, there is concern the state will run out of funding to care for its Medicaid recipients. State Medicaid costs are up 4.3 percent this year while federal share of costs for new enrollees will begin dropping in 2016, according to Gov. Jerry Brown.”

Here is where we stand today—high costs, low or no services, billions in obligations, doctors unable to afford to be part of Medi-Cal and hospitals that are going under due to low reimbursements rates under ObamacCare/Medi-Cal/Medicare.

California is at the start of a massive health care crisis—but we were warned these policies do not work. It is time to roll back government involvement and return to the free market. This is like watching a car crash in slow motion…but we can stop the major disasters facing our citizens. It is time to speak up.

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Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant. http://capoliticalnews.com/

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