BUTTE COUNTY: Seeks Money To Help Workers Retain Medi-Cal Coverage
The Butte County Board of Supervisors has unanimously agreed to apply for a $195,000 federal grant to "help welfare recipients retain Medi-Cal coverage when they shift to low-paying jobs," the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. The board was convinced by Gary House, county director of public health, who argued that as federal welfare reform forces people into employment, "We'll be creating a whole new level of working poor." He said, "There will be thousands shifting from welfare into the work environment. Many will go into entry-level jobs without benefits and without adequate resources to pay for medical care." He also predicted that if people go without insurance, they will be "reluctant to seek medical aid ... resulting in medical problems that would be much more costly for taxpayers to deal with down the road." House said the money won't go directly for care, but will go "to identify which of the former recipients will be eligible for continued Medi-Cal benefits." The county public health department will put up nearly $22,000 in matching funds if the federal grant is awarded (Ellena, 12/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.