Gov. Brown Signs Medi-Cal Expansion, Provides Health Coverage to 1.4 Million Californians

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Governor Brown signs ABx11 and SBx11 (1)

Consumers Union’s Betsy Imholz (far right) attends the historic signing of Medi-Cal Expansion.

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California’s historic expansion and simplification of Medicaid, Medi-Cal in California, ensuring access to health care for roughly 1.4 million low-income working Californians.  The Affordable Care Act, made the dream of universal access to health care possible, but thanks to the tireless efforts of Governor Brown, the Legislature, and many advocacy organizations, this dream is becoming a reality for Californians struggling to get health care.

The Medi-Cal expansion is fully paid by the federal government for the first three years.  Beginning in 2017, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost.  Medi-Cal expansion means hardworking low-income Californians will get the coverage they need and won’t have to rely on emergency rooms when they become sick, which drives up the costs for the entire health care system. California’s leadership in implementing the ACA enables millions all Californians will receive better care and improved health at a lower cost.

Expanding the income levels and categories of people eligible for Medi-Cal and simplifying the rules, combined with the innovative work of Covered California, will increase consumer access to health care beginning in 2014.  We thank Governor Brown and the Legislature for their dedication to ensuring all Californians can lead healthier, more secure lives.