'Disaster' looms as California plans to enroll uninsured

Friday, July 12, 2013
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

A California healthcare expert says the state's ambitious health insurance marketplace will be a disaster - despite the state's efforts to gain enrollees. 

"Covered California is going to be a disaster in terms of costs,” predicts Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute. “We've already seen it with the price of the premiums.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced it will award $150 million in grants to qualified community health clinics around the country.


California's 125 community clinics will obtain $22 million to sign uninsured individuals onto Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace. Part of the funds will be used to hire more than 400 people to help with enrollment in the state.

“A lot of young people, they're not going to buy the insurance,” says Pipes. “They're going to pay the fine, and then for the older and sicker people who are in the exchange – it’s going to be very expensive."

The grant will also help the state enroll individuals through Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid.

Pipes explains that costs under the exchange will be very high, and some large insurers have already opted out of the exchange.

"What it means is this could end up crowding out private insurers in California, and it will happen in other states, and that puts us on the path to what I believe will be Medicare for all,” says Pipes. “And I think that's what the president ultimately wants, is a single-payer Medicare for all system and no private coverage."

Community clinics in the state reach over three million Californians. HHS notes that most of these individuals are uninsured. 

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
For most, fast-food jobs temporary stop on career path

Fast-food workers are continuing their push for better pay, though an analyst says the industry has few adults making burger flipping a career.