Thursday, February 11 , 2016, 5:30 am | Fair 44º

Salud Carbajal: California Should Accept Federal Money to Expand Health Coverage

By Salud Carbajal |

Under the new federal health-care law, 25,000 Californians who are uninsured in Santa Barbara County could get affordable health coverage starting next year. That’s because the law includes money to cover more people through Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California.

Salud Carbajal
Salud Carbajal

Right now, California and Gov. Jerry Brown have an important decision to make — accept federal dollars that have been allocated to cover uninsured individuals through Medicaid/Medi-Cal or turn down the money and leave them uninsured. If California accepts the federal funds to cover more people, it will improve families’ health and dramatically reduce the number of uninsured Santa Barbara County residents.

California should accept the federal funds and cover more families, because hardworking Californians need the security of quality health coverage to get the care they need, when they need it, without facing huge medical bills.

California and Santa Barbara County have successfully brought the uninsured rate for children down to record lows thanks to Medicaid/Medi-Cal and the Children’s Health Initiative of Santa Barbara County (CHISB) Healthy Kids insurance. Now it’s time to help their uninsured parents get health coverage, too, so that the whole family can get the care they need to stay healthy.

The health of parents has a dramatic effect on the health and well-being of children. In fact, research shows that providing coverage for low-income parents and family members is good for children, too, and increases the number of eligible children who have coverage.

By ensuring that more families in Santa Barbara County and across the state have health insurance, we will save health-care dollars that are currently used to treat uninsured people in the emergency room. Accepting the federal funds is a sensible approach to providing health coverage for the uninsured — a good deal for California, and a smarter use of health-care funds. Leaving millions of federal dollars on the table — and so many families in California without health coverage — would be foolish.

This opportunity to expand coverage to many more Californians and specifically Santa Barbara County residents is truly unprecedented — the federal money would cover 100 percent of the costs in the first few years and ultimately would pay for 90 percent of costs of this coverage. We need Gov. Brown to take action today, so that the necessary planning and preparation can be under way as soon as possible.

Once Gov. Brown moves to accept these funds, we will be able to cover more people in California and save taxpayer health-care dollars that are currently spent on treating uninsured people in emergency rooms. We know that care in the emergency room is expensive, and that treating people before they get sick — through care provided by their local doctor in their community — makes more sense. Right now, states pay hospitals for the care they provide to people who don’t have health insurance — and people with private insurance also pay as much as $1,100 more for family coverage to cover these costs.

By accepting the money, Gov. Brown will help cover more people and spend health-care dollars more wisely.

Salud Carbajal represents the First District on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

» on 05.09.13 @ 09:49 PM

Nothing is Free.

We defeated the English because of high taxes 5%, and we wanted small government and the freedom to make our own choices.

The Democrats forgot this history lesson, and now government takes more than 50% of your pay in taxes fees and assessments throughout the year.

Boston Tax party boycott will come sooner than later.

» on 05.10.13 @ 01:32 AM

Overtaxed needs to read some history.

It was not high taxes that motivated the Boston Tea Party Protest. 

If Overtaxed is a citizen and is entitled to vote then no Tea Party issue exists.

If on the other hand Overtaxed is not a citizen, then I truly wonder what his concern actually is?

» on 05.10.13 @ 04:09 AM

@Rob Egenolf what history book can you point to that says that taxes where not the base cause for the Boston Tea Party? Really I’m all ears on this. Link away.

» on 05.10.13 @ 10:56 AM

Despite what Carbajal is saying, this is going to cost the state a lot of money. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay for 100 percent of the cost increase for the Medi-Cal expansion through 2016.  After that, the federal government will drop its support to 90 percent, which the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates could cost California more than six billion dollars over ten years time. Does Carbajal have a source of funds for these expenditures? Maybe he could tell us what it is.

» on 05.10.13 @ 01:33 PM

Carbajal has a very short term perspective on such things.  In his world, federal money is free money.  He’ll be out of office when the bill comes due.  Typical Democrat.

» on 05.10.13 @ 05:54 PM

Again, this is the biggest scam on mother earth. Health insurance is not medical help. It is a legal protection racket that says you have confiscated money to pay for medical bills, but it provides no guaranty that any medical aid will be there when you are sick or injured.

People, there is no free lunch, there is no amount of tax confiscation that can make life better. Unless the government actually goes into the business of supplying doctors, nurses, labs, technicians clinics, hospitals and every other facet of the medical industry where will this service come from, particularly if the amount of payment your new government insurance pays is less than the demand for service?

It is mind numbing how stupid people are when it comes to this issue, how easily people are duped into believing the something for nothing propaganda. The quickest way to drop insurance costs and increase medical availability is market competition, not government intervention. The high cost of medical insurance and lack of medical facilities can all be traced to meddling government usually at the behest of industry cronies. Now that will be institutionalized. What a friggen crock.

» on 05.10.13 @ 06:37 PM

This is just like the scam of the century, Social security !! Government wanted 15% of every dollar we make, again $15.00 out of every $100 produced goes straight the the government- ((social security))) scam -Its now used to fund everything but..It sounded good like most Liberal plans, but then they lie!!

How do you think government grew to be this huge uncontrollable behemoth wasting your hard earned money with hundreds of useless departments over lapping each other?
Dept of chocolate tasting
Dept of Orange tasting
Dept of wine tasting
Dept of creating a menu for when live on Mar’s-True!!..

No place to cut Democrats—come on !! A partisanship team found 49 Billion in waste, even with the Democrats on board they ignored it.

Obama Pelosi,Reid Boxer Fienstein closed the white house tours, and intentionally hurt us travelers on planes to get more taxes out of us when we are 17 trillion in the RED??

» on 05.19.13 @ 03:11 PM

RandomPerson: The Boston Tea Party taxation issue wasn’t a response to high taxes, it was a protest against a tax on tea imposed by an English parliament, not by elected officials in the colonies. The protest was “no taxation without representation”, rather than “no more !%*&$# taxes”. The basic issue was representative government independent of England.
We’ve progressed to a representative democracy that is functionally an authoritarian dictatorship, in which the people vote against (for example) building a new jail and legalizing local medical cannabis dispensaries and government officials elected to represent the will of the people make decisions opposed to the intent and welfare of the people.

» on 05.19.13 @ 03:24 PM

Santa Barbara County misused federal funds intended for deportation of illegal aliens who were violent criminals under Operation Safe Communities,according to ICE, and is currently misusing federal funding for enforcement of the Older Americans Act, intended to protect the rights of those over 65, as well as those of the physically, mentally and developmentally disabled. Carbajal is ignoring county government policy regarding use of federal funds.

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