One Alix Rosenthal, who writes a regular column for the SF Examiner, made a claim in today’s article, that Medi-Cal is totally free for the poor, who are disabled or elderly. Here is the article’s URL, which includes my reply. Since it may not be accepted, my reply is also posted below:
–begin my reply:
Regarding your statement, “Medi-Cal — the program that pays for 100 percent of your health care costs if you are senior, poor or disabled.” That is a cruel deception. For unless you collect a Social Security amount of $600 or less, you must pay a monthly share of cost (SOC) that takes every dollar above 600. For me, that means my SOC is $518…almost half my income!
This SOC mandate was instituted under Gov. Schwarzenegger’s watch in 1989, and is based on that year’s cost of living. It has never been raised since. Our present governor, Jerry Brown, has not seen fit to rectify this unfair arrangement that rips off the poor. Even though he is a Democrat, unlike Schwarzenegger. Not all states that have accepted expanded Medicaid charge a SOC, including Massachusetts, New Mexico and Minnesota. But I suspect that the majority of the 19 states that have expanded Medicaid, charge an exorbitantly unaffordable SOC.
When Obama announced expanded Medicaid, he said he’d leave it up to each state, how to spend it. Obviously, that includes whether or not they will squeeze the wallets of those who can least afford “affordable care.” As far as I’m concerned, there should be no SOC for those so poor as to be eligible for Medicaid in the first place. Obamacare, therefore, is more like a death sentence for tens of millions of Medicaid recipients, rather than a boon. Medi-Cal’s own site used to include a statement that admitted this SOC is so exorbitant, as to be useless to a large number of their clients. They have since erased it, replacing that remark with a bunch of undecipherable operating costs. I had to go to a dental service site, to find proof of my claim, and you can find it here:
From which I quote:
“The MNL has not changed since 1989 and is $600 for an individual. Thus, anything an individual earns over $600 a month becomes that individual’s share of cost. For example, if an individual earns $1,100 a month, that person must incur $500 in medical costs each month before receiving any coverage from the Medi-Cal program. For consumers with a high share of cost, Medi-Cal provides little more than catastrophic coverage and does not enable them to access health care services.”
(MNL stands for “maintenance need level.”)
I was shocked four months after I applied for Medi-Cal (which I dropped over a decade ago, due to so many cutbacks it became useless to me), to receive their SOC notice, declaring that $518 monthly fee! Assuming this was an error, I marched on down to their office, only to be told no, that is the correct amount. I was angered and dismayed, and they gave no explanation as to why such a ridiculous monthly charge. So I had to do my homework by searching the web. The truth is hard to track down, as Medi-Cal has intentionally obfuscated the SOC fee. Other states’ Medicaid pages seem to be hiding the truth, too. Except for those that do not charge any SOC which, in their cases, they tell you up front, there is no monthly expense.
In June of 2015 I emailed a letter of outrage to Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (along with a copy of it to other Democratic leaders and 17 major alternative/progressive online news sites). Ms. Pelosi has never responded, nor have any of the other people and organizations I posted to. You may read that letter here:
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party elitists pat each other on the back over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid. The Democratic Party, with President Obama at the helm, is complicit in this deadly dupe. Though I voted for him twice, I am disgusted at this deception that is the manipulation of both government and mainstream (and even alternative) media. For you, too, Ms. Rosenthal, believe this lie.
My teeth are almost all gone, and I cannot get any annual checkups to prevent or slow down blindness, due to my age, which is now 66. Many other preventative and treatable ailments are way beyond any sort of affordability. And this must be true of many others receiving Medi-Cal. Yet there is no outcry, no support groups, no political movement to bring justice to California’s poorest.