The results of a recent poll conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) and the LA Times make it clear there is far from a consensus on the quality and affordability of healthcare in the Golden State. Less than half of those surveyed (44%) felt that healthcare in California was good or excellent, while a plurality (48%) felt that healthcare in the state was fair or poor.
Their concerns are well-founded, too. Contrary to expectations, a large portion of California’s newly-insured under Obamacare were enrollees in the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. Official projections for Medi-Cal enrollment prior to the state’s expansion of Medicaid were about 1.5 million over of the first year. Yet more than 4 million residents signed up for the program during that time. As a result of this rapid expansion, one out of every three Californians is now enrolled in a program originally designed only for California’s poorest and most vulnerable residents, and the entitlement is crowding out other state budget priorities.
Does it again begin in California, then spread elsewhere? A new report says as many 125,000 young Golden State immigrants may qualify for coverage under Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance subsidies and enrollment in Medicaid for undocumented immigrants. A provision in the California rules does permit enrollment for those with “deferred action status.” Tanya Broder, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, says that as more gaps in Obamacare become evident, as Obamacare rolls out, more states may adopt the same policy.
There is no data about how many illegal immigrants have signed up for Medi-Cal – because most fear deportation.