San Diego County Appeals Ruling on Medical Benefit
San Diego County attorneys on Friday filed a petition to California's Supreme Court to overturn a ruling last month that would allow more county residents access to a county health care benefit that covers the cost of medical care, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/3).
A three-judge panel of a state appeals court in May ruled that the county is violating state law by denying medical care to county residents whose incomes exceed eligibility guidelines for the County Medical Service program but cannot afford private coverage (California Healthline, 5/24).
The appellate judges said state law requires counties to pay for emergency and necessary medical bills not only for adults with no ability to pay, but also for adults with limited ability to pay.
In the petition to the state Supreme Court, county attorneys argued that the cost of adding thousands more adults to the program could be "a crippling burden" on the county.
The Supreme Court has 60 days to decide whether it will grant a review.
If the court declines a review or rules in favor of the plaintiffs, county officials would be required to rewrite their policy for the benefits program (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/3).