"For the next four years, the CMS will give California's public hospitals up to $472 million annually to cover hospital visits for the uninsured as part of a waiver (PDF)meant to reform the state's Medicaid program.
State officials were informed last week of the decision that seemed unlikely since the federal agency had been reluctant to pay for the uninsured now that the Affordable Care Act has provided coverage to more Americans. Officials in Tennessee and Texas waiting to hear their fate on similar decisions are celebrating.
California had to make its case for keeping the funding. In 2014, the state expanded Medicaid to people who made 138% of the federal poverty level. That covered an additional 3 million people under Medi-Cal.
But an independent analysis by Guidehouse (PDF) found that at almost 4 million people, California has the second largest uninsured population in the U.S. That's despite Medicaid expansion and ACA coverage.
Had the CMS not continued the funds, patient care would have suffered, said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a patient advocacy organization."