Latest California Healthline Stories
Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health articles from the week so you don’t have to.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom made health care a priority in his proposed state budget, asking lawmakers to authorize state-funded financial aid for health insurance, impose a penalty on uninsured Californians and expand Medicaid coverage to unauthorized immigrants.
Just hours into his tenure as California’s new governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom proposed major plans to insure more Californians, including state-funded financial aid for health insurance and a requirement for Californians to have coverage.
Managed-care plans, which reap billions in taxpayer dollars to coordinate care for low-income Americans on Medicaid, outsource crucial treatment decisions to subcontractors that aren’t directly accountable to the government. In California, health officials say one firm improperly withheld or delayed care for hundreds of people.
The potentially improper payments occurred in 2014 and 2015, when the state says it was under pressure from a massive influx of new applicants due to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.
The money was paid on behalf of more than 400,000 people who may have been ineligible for the public program, a state audit found. One had been dead for four years before payments stopped.
The drop in the number of people enrolled in the federal-state program for low-income residents is the first since 2007.
California’s 13 children’s hospitals are asking voters in November to approve $1.5 billion in bonds to help them pay for construction and equipment, the third such measure in 14 years. Some health care experts and election analysts believe the repeated financial requests aren’t justified.
UC Davis Health has inked a deal with the insurer Health Net that will allow up to 5,000 Sacramento County Medi-Cal patients to get primary care from the university health system. The agreement comes about two months after UnitedHealth — the only insurer that had allowed its Medi-Cal members access to primary care at UC Davis — said it would terminate its contract with the university.
John Cox, California’s Republican candidate for governor, contends that policies on abortion, health insurance and health care access should be guided by the conservative ideals of free market competition and personal responsibility. He hasn’t offered specific policy positions on health care, except that government should largely stay out of it.