Meanwhile, the success of California's enrollment drive has created a new set of challenges -- how to provide high-quality health care to 11 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries while keeping costs down.
The Associated Press: Texas Lawmakers To Discuss Market-Based Alternatives To Medicaid Expansion Today
A legislative committee is examining market-based alternatives to providing low-income Texans with health care since the state has rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Members of the state Senate Health and Human Services committee plan Thursday to discuss alternatives to the law critics call “Obamacare” (Weissert, 8/14).
Kaiser Health News: Analysis: California's Enrollment Success Is Its Greatest Challenge
Even as sign-ups continue, state health officials are struggling to figure out how to serve a staggering number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries while also improving their health and keeping costs down. Many are chronically ill and have gone without insurance or regular care for years, and some new enrollees have higher expectations than in the past. Medi-Cal is the largest version of the nation's Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people. Created as an anti-poverty program in 1965, Medicaid for years primarily served families, seniors and people with disabilities. Now, in the states that chose to expand their programs, the coverage is available to single adults without children and to those who make slightly higher incomes. Real questions remain, however, about whether California is up to the task of covering so many more people, and about whether it has the health care infrastructure to handle the needs of the new enrollees. And the costs to the state will be significant (Gorman, 8/14).