Speaking on health reform in front of a community convening of AARP and LULAC this Saturday morning in South Sacramento, I couldn’t help but reference the “trigger” cuts in the headlines (in the San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press, and elsewhere), including the elimination of benefits like dental, podiatry, optometry, psychology, etc, for the three million adults (parents, seniors, and people with disabilities) with Medi-Cal coverage.
I got lots of questions about this, including what benefits *exactly* would be cut, and when (july 1st). After the talk, when folks came up, I found out why the interest: I was actually delivering the bad news to some of the people directly impacted. An amputee who goes to a podiatry appointment every three months, and needs other services like dental and psychology. A person in a wheelchair who get much-needed help from an in-home supportive services worker.
They hadn’t known about this. One asked, “so what do I do now?” Other than to make appointments with the impacted services before the benefits go away on July 1st, the best I could answer was to talk with their medical providers, and see what they would charge on a self-pay basis, or what they could recommend.
When the cuts impact literally millions, I shouldn’t be surprised that in any crowd, there will people feeling the direct effects. And given these cuts are to the health system on which we all rely, we should have the constituency to fight to restore the cuts.