STATEMENT ON THE SUPREME COURT RULING
By Howard A. Kahn, CEO of L.A. Care, Nation’s Largest Public Health Plan
“This is a really good day for all Californians—but especially for low-income and uninsured Californians who struggle to get the health care they desperately need.
By upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has ensured millions of Americans who had no access or limited access to health care will soon become eligible for health coverage through the expansion of Medicaid. While there remain some questions on how this will be implemented at the state level, I feel confident that Governor Brown and legislative leaders will work with the Obama Administration to expand the Medi-Cal Program in California to our state’s most vulnerable residents who are anxiously awaiting health care coverage.
We recognize that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t cure all that is wrong with health care, but it goes a long way toward healing it by making vital health care services accessible to millions more Americans.
In Los Angeles County alone, 2.7 million uninsured adults under 65 years of age currently have little or no access to preventive care, chronic disease management tools and affordable prescription drugs. With the court upholding the expansion of Medicaid, more than 800,000 of them will become eligible for health coverage that will make it possible for them to secure these much-needed healthcare services. We are confident the California Legislature and governor are anxious to expand Medi-Cal so that more Californians will have coverage.
Let’s be clear, however, that simply having a Medi-Cal card does not guarantee patients can get the care they need. The current reimbursement rates are so low that many doctors do not accept Medi-Cal patients. The Affordable Care Act will increase California’s Medi-Cal reimbursement rates by about $700 million a year – an important incentive needed to expand the network of physicians and specialists who provide health care services to these vulnerable individuals.
Even after the passage of health care reform, there will still be many uninsured, particularly here in Los Angeles, but by being able to shift such large numbers of the uninsured into organized care delivery programs, we will reduce costs for all Americans and improve our nation’s health.”
PLEASE NOTE THAT L.A. CARE HEALTH PLAN CEO HOWARD A. KAHN WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR FURTHER COMMENT AND INTERVIEWS
PLEASE CONTACT ELENA STERN (213) 694-1250 x4142 OR (310) 738-1376 CELL
About L.A. Care
L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of programs including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids, and L.A. Care Health Plan Medicare Advantage HMO SNP. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With over one million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest public health plan.