California, a model for healthcare reform, is seeking to impose some of the toughest limits on government-subsidized coverage. If approved, the limits could herald deep Medicaid cuts nationwide.
By Noam N. Levey
Reporting from Washington — For more than a year, as conservative states have battled President Obama’s sweeping healthcare law, California was supposed to be a model that showed the law’s promise.
But the state is emerging as one of the biggest headaches for the White House in its bid to help states bring millions of Americans into the healthcare system starting in 2014.
Though still outpacing much of the nation, cash-strapped California is cutting its healthcare safety net more aggressively than almost any other state, despite billions of dollars in special aid from Washington.
“There are states that are bellwethers. California is one of them,” said Jane Perkins, legal director of the National Health Law Program. If the federal government approves California’s requests, other states are almost certain to seek similar treatment, setting off a “race to the bottom,” she said. Read the full article here. »