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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Children’s Medicaid Coverage – California

  • Medi-Cal’s growing pains felt acutely by children, By Barbara Feder Ostrov, February 28, 2015, Santa Cruz Sentinel: “The massive expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents, was intended to bring relief to working-class families in need of care. But it was hard on families like Diana Vega’s.  Vega, an elementary schoolteacher in San Pablo, appreciates the low premiums and that her three kids were able to keep the same pediatrician they had when they were under the now-defunct Healthy Families, another publicly funded insurance program. But Vega had trouble restoring therapy services for her son, diagnosed with autism and Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic condition that weakens muscles. And she also was taken aback by how much more difficult it was to get eyeglasses and dental care…”
  • Overdue for checkups: Denti-Cal program for low-income kids, Editorial, March 8, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “Fewer than half the low-income kids enrolled in California’s dental insurance program see a dentist in any given year. That seems like a problem. Whether it is, though, is impossible to tell because of the state’s inadequate oversight of the program, known as Denti-Cal. According to a recent audit, the state doesn’t collect the data necessary to determine whether the kids who need care can get it. The state should start measuring the performance of Denti-Cal as if it really cares how well it’s working…”