Senate Republicans released their health proposal today with no new surprises. They want high deductible plans, they want Health Savings Accounts. Things we oppose.
But what I found most irksome were the statements about 1 million people who are eligible but not enrolled in Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.
“Many just don’t sign up,” said an incredulous Sen. George Runner, of Palmdale-Lancaster, in spite of the money spent on outreach and education about these programs.
Runner shouldn’t be surprised. Each public program has a different “entry point” making applying to all of them confusing and cumbersome. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, 67% of children who were eligible, but not enrolled had been denied for technical reasons.
Office hours are limited making it difficult for working adults to take the time off. It takes months to be approved. People are randomly dropped off public program rolls.
These should all be familiar issues for Senate Republicans, who would have heard all this in past years when efforts to streamline enrollment wended through the Legislature.
In spite of this not a single Senate Republican voted for last year’s SB437 (Escutia) — which the governor endorsed and encourage — which makes it easier to enroll (and keep children enrolled) in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.
Republicans like to complain about all the processes businesses have to go through to keep track of government regulations and rules. I wish they had the same level of empathy for mere mortals.
To see the Republican plan, visit: http://republican.sen.ca.gov/calcare
Health Access will have a more thorough analysis of the Senate Republican plan later today