Insurance companies have been barred in the US from the very beginning from limiting or denying coverage for a child due to a "pre-existing condition," a health problem that developed before the child applied for insurance. This was one of the very first provisions of the national health care reform.
This thinking, say health care scholars and activists should apply to another kind of pre-existing condition that makes children especially vulnerable - their immigration status.
AdvertisementCurrently, national health care reform law bars undocumented immigrants from federal programs such as Medicaid and says that they won't be allowed to use their own money to buy into state-run health benefit exchanges that offer insurance at more affordable prices in the reform provisions that will be implemented in 2014. Legally documented immigrants who have been in the US for less than five years have also been locked out.
California has used revenues from property tax revenues and federal dollars to fund health care services and to reimburse local hospitals for uncompensated care for the uninsured. Six years ago, federal authorities allowed the 10 largest counties in the state to expand upon their health offerings, providing health maintenance services as well as acute care.
Activists have labeled the method to provide such coverage, an expansion on "California's Bridge to Reform."
Under the Bridge to Reform, federal authorities will give the state roughly $8 billion in Medicaid matching funds over five years to extend Medi-Cal insurance coverage to nearly half a million uninsured adults.