Most Active Stories
- Money, Greed and Power Keep Chukchansi Casino Closed, Tribe Still Divided
- Fulton Mall Project To Become Reality?
- Peter Gleick: California Reservoirs at the "Bottom Of The Barrel"
- The Family Peach Farm That Became A Symbol Of The Food Revolution
- Drought: Rafting Season Cancelled For Many In Kern County
Valley Public Radio Staff
Health Care Reform
Thu March 7, 2013
Lawmakers Move Step Closer to Expanding Medi-Cal
Legislation that would expand health care coverage to an estimated one million low-income Californians has moved a step closer to passing. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the bills would implement part of the federal health care law.
Both the Assembly and Senate passed bills that would extend health care coverage to people earning below 138-percent of the federal poverty level beginning in 2014. Each bill must now cross over to the other chamber. The vote in the Assembly was mainly along party lines. Republican Don Wagner says the state could end up footing the bill to expand Medi-Cal.
“Somewhere down the road, we run the substantial risk that the federal government will pull the rug out from underneath California and leave our general fund budget on the hook for potentially billions of dollars,” says Wagner.
The federal government will pay for the health coverage expansion for the first three years, and 90-percent of the cost after that. The legislation is also designed to streamline eligibility and enrollment rules for Medi-Cal.