Medi-Cal Coverage for Specific Diseases Examined
The Sacramento Bee on Thursday examined the state of Medi-Cal, including coverage for conditions such as prostate cancer, for which the federal government does not provide specific funding to offset treatment costs. According to the Bee, the federal government provides funding for tuberculosis, kidney disease and breast and cervical cancer treatment, but low-income California residents without health insurance are "often out of luck" if they are diagnosed with other diseases and are not otherwise eligible for Medi-Cal.
Stan Rosenstein, deputy director of medical care services for the Department of Health Services, said the administration would try to maintain current eligibility guidelines for Medi-Cal. The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) currently is working on a proposal to reform Medi-Cal.
However, some health advocates say the current health care funding system in California is inadequate, in part because advocates for some specific diseases must lobby for funding each year, the Bee reports.
Citing the possible end of funding for a state program to provide treatment to low-income residents with prostate cancer, program administrator Laura Baybridge said the potential loss of funding is part of a bias against men in the public health system, which is targeted at children, the elderly and women with children. Baybridge said, "Why would you fund women's health and not men's?" She added, "Women can get Medi-Cal very easily. Men cannot" (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 11/25).