The expansion of government-provided health insurance through Obamacare has some Californians stunned to discover they are suddenly “on the dole”–eligible for state subsidies through Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicare. According to Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, 1.2 million people have signed up for Medi-Cal through the program. Yet many are people who do not consider themselves in need of assistance.
As Eryn Brown of the Los Angeles Times notes, the complex rules of Obamacare determine that some residents are eligible for state subsidies–even if they do not want to be. “I’m upset. I sort of feel like I’m being forced to go into Medi-Cal,” said 62-year-old Lori Golden. Another resident, attorney Martin Gross, supports Obamacare but was surprised to find his 16-year-old son was placed into Medi-Cal, even though he and his wife were not.
Those experiences jibe with that of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who reported last month that his state’s Obamacare program–considered one of the most successful–had placed his son into Medicaid. Aside from being a national political figure, Paul is also an ophthalmologist–not the typical profile of the parent of a Medicaid recipient. While some such placements might be attributed to clerical errors, some are clearly part of the system’s design.
Brown quotes one local Obamacare proponent as saying that people should not be alarmed at being placed into Medi-Cal because both Medi-Cal and Covered California are government programs: “…both are managed care and both are ‘handouts’ to the extent the government is paying part of people’s premiums.” Indeed, critics long predicted that Obamacare would be a stepping-stone to socialized medicine. Those fears are now being realized.