California Cuts Could Bode Ill for Obamacare

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011 03:20 PM

By Andra Varin

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California was supposed to be a standard-bearer for President Barack Obama’s new healthcare law, but the cash-strapped state is now slashing its healthcare safety net, the Los Angeles Times reported.

State leaders are asking the administration for permission to place tough restrictions on government-subsidized healthcare, including a cap on how often Medicaid recipients can go to the doctor.

If their request is approved, it will open the door for other states to do the same. And that could spell trouble for the Obama plan.

"There are states that are bellwethers. California is one of them," Jane Perkins, legal director of the National Health Law Program, told the Times.

California's 2012 budget plan cuts $2 billion from Medi-Cal, as Medicaid is called in the state, over the next two years. That could affect more than 8.5 million people, the Times said.

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