CA expands health entitlements

MedicineAs California included some unlawful immigrants in Medi-Cal, its version of the Medicaid program, a new study suggested that, nationwide, that population is holding down the costs of health entitlements.

The findings promised to sharpen the debate over immigration reform and its connection to America’s fiscal and economic health. “Researchers from Harvard Medical School, the Institute for Community Health and City University of New York’s School of Public Health at Hunter College found that in one year alone — 2011 — undocumented immigrants generated an average surplus of $316 apiece for Medicare,” California Healthline reported. “Other Americans generated an average deficit of $106 apiece. Undocumented immigrants contributed $3.5 billion more than they received in care in 2011, according to the study.”

The costs of expansion

Medicare eligibility has expanded dramatically under the Affordable Care Act. Many states have jumped at the chance to accept increased federal dollars to grow the program. Although Republicans are divided, some GOP governors in influential states, like Ohio and New Jersey, have approved the expansions as well. And with the Supreme Court declining to rule against the ACA, policymakers of every stripe have begun to consider its broader budgetary consequences.

According to the researchers’ report, “contributions from undocumented immigrants during the first decade of the century prolonged Medicare’s trust fund solvency by one year.” California Healthline added, “The trust fund is predicted to be insolvent in 15 years.”

Straining the system

California Democrats had pushed to expand Medi-Cal to roughly one million immigrants unlawfully present within the state. But over the course of exacting budget negotiations, Gov. Jerry Brown shrank down the ambitious plan to cover only those 18 years of age and under. The reduced population remained sizable, however. “An estimated 170,000 immigrants 18 and younger could qualify,” noted the Los Angeles Times. “The expansion of healthcare coverage to qualifying immigrant children would begin in May 2016, costing $40 million in the new budget and an estimated $132 million annually after that.”

The development has had a cascade effect in areas with relatively fewer unlawful immigrants. The County Medical Services Program recently authorized health coverage for the undocumented in 35 California counties. Although budgetary constraints have historically prevented such measures, “in recent years the expansion of Medi-Cal and the creation of the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act have dramatically reduced the population it serves, leaving it with about $225 million in reserves,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

For their part, California Republicans have warned that the pace of expansion has already added stresses the health care system can’t handle. During the legislative debate on Democrats’ original plan to cover the state’s unlawful immigrants, “Republican lawmakers opposed the additional assistance, saying there aren’t enough doctors available to cover those people,” as Bloomberg recalled.

“‘There are 12.4 million Californians who depend on Medi-Cal right now that have difficulty accessing doctors and services because our reimbursement rates are too low,’ Senate Republican leader Bob Huff said during a budget debate on June 19.”

According to the state Department of Health Care Services, Bloomberg added, fully one third of Californians are currently enrolled in Medi-Cal.

A unified agenda

Although Medicare and Medicaid differ in how their budgetary burdens are distributed between states and the federal government, California officials have suggested that the case for expanding the one strengthens the case for expanding the other. “While these are two different programs with different funding sources, I think there’s no question that this study lends support to the efforts to extend Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented immigrants,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “I think many of the same points in this research — that undocumented immigrants contribute tax money to support government programs — applies to Medicaid and California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal.”

17 comments

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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 3 July, 2015, 09:12

    No worry about foolishness with Obamacare Comrades.

    Just get in the big line for Medi-Cal, whatever….no deductibles, no copays, no premiums nor any other trivial/irksome impediments.

    You deserve the best.

    Every human has worth and diginity….Judge Clarence Thomas-

    Reply this comment
  2. Dude
    Dude 3 July, 2015, 09:42

    ILLEGAL ALIENS ILLEGAL ALIENS LLEGAL ALIENS ILLEGAL ALIENS LLEGAL ALIENS ILLEGAL ALIENS ILLEGAL ALIENS ILLEGAL ALIENS

    Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 6 July, 2015, 10:09

      Repubs love to call this a Christian nation—- probably Christ would deny health care for the poor=== LOL where is Sarah Palin the tea bag Queen when we need her???

      Don’t taze me bro!

      Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 3 July, 2015, 13:43

    California is being overrun with poor, uneducated illegals. This will not end well. Free housing, food, education. Sex toys for Lara …I guess that is the price, maybe we are all treated fairly because everyone is getting f+:;ed.

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 3 July, 2015, 15:59

      Desi, your alien buds almost pushed Ann Coulter into the sea at her Mein Kamph book signing in Cost Mesa.

      It is dangerous pushing the privledge thingee Desi……learn to duck real good. Sorta like those grade school nucleur fallout drills.

      Reply this comment
  4. bob
    bob 3 July, 2015, 14:20

    So doe the illegals get a pass on the forced vacinations?

    Reply this comment
  5. desmond
    desmond 3 July, 2015, 18:19

    To all, Queeg, Ted(and iterations) are the same Ahaul..just a old leech who can t pleasure itself anymore, gravitating to this site. Pay attention, and you will see. There may be more substitutes for the old busy hand from this pervert.

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 3 July, 2015, 19:10

      Teddy, it’s time. Desi cracked…..send the little white wagon for him…..and CWD must ban him for lewd/ indecent behavior….

      Cracked-

      Reply this comment
    • Bob
      Bob 5 July, 2015, 11:57

      Ah Desmond,

      Don’t be so hard on the Queegster.

      He does come up with colorful terms…like slaver…to describe us tax slaves.

      In honor of Queegster The Slaver.

      Sung to the tune of The Joker.

      Feel free to add your own lyrics.

      The Slaver

      Some people call me a slaver
      I’d say that’s true
      Some people call me a tax slave
      Cause I’m taxed up the…

      Cause I’m a doomer
      I’m a gloomer
      I’m a slaver
      I’m a payer
      Payin’ my taxes in the rain

      DemoNcrats want to shake my tree
      Taxes, taxes, taxes all the time

      Ooh wee DemoNcrats, they sure want you to show them a good time

      DemoNcrats keep taxin’ me baby
      Say I’m doin’ them wrong
      Well don’t you worry, no don’t you worry DemoNcrats
      Cause you’re taxin’ me all the time

      DemoNcrats really love your peaches
      want to shake your tree

      That DemoNCrat’s a sinner
      And a taxer
      And a mid-night toker
      Givin’ you lovin up the…
      That DemoNcrat, the ganster of taxation

      Reply this comment
      • Queeg
        Queeg 5 July, 2015, 19:26

        Comrade Bob……twisting words is gosh….Slavers are owners of big box stores, tech trinket makers in foregn gulags, corporate food barons, plutocrats and publicans.

        your poetry is work in progress…not bad.

        Reply this comment
        • bob
          bob 5 July, 2015, 19:43

          Certainly a work in progress…the words are from the song…just twisted around plus I plugged in the slavers and the doomers and the gloomers…etc.

          You may need to make up some more terms for me.

          Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 6 July, 2015, 10:10

      Come on man– I’m not Queeg— Queeg is it’s own reward little buddy!

      Reply this comment
  6. Dork
    Dork 4 July, 2015, 07:16

    We need the PEACE Act:

    Public Employee Affordable Care Enrollment ACT:

    All Public Employees, Public Servants, Public Officials, and Officers of the Court, SHALL be required to individually purchase their own Health Insurance from the California Covered Health Insurance Exchange.

    The Money we save by no longer paying for Public Employee Health Insurance can be used for ROAD Repairs, and with the Millions of NEW Individuals enrolling in California Covered Health Insurance Exchange, there should be plenty of money to pay for the Highly Coveted Illegal Alien Criminal Peasants!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 5 July, 2015, 10:58

      Dork, the Donk finds your acronym right in line with the RAGWUS, and very truthful!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • The Ted
        The Ted 6 July, 2015, 10:12

        Poor Duncey!

        Not the sharpest girl out here!

        Reply this comment
        • Ulysses Uhaul
          Ulysses Uhaul 6 July, 2015, 10:35

          Teddy,

          The Dongster very sullen these days. Must have lost his Euro purse of Groupon chits for Dennys, Joes Crabby Shack and McBad Food.

          Reply this comment
          • Ted
            Ted 6 July, 2015, 15:28

            LMAO Groupons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U haul– you rock!!

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