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Report Says Health Reform Will Slash California’s Uninsured Problem

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Aired 2/15/11

A new study finds the federal health-reform law will greatly reduce the number of Californians who are uninsured. The report says nearly 5 million Californians will be eligible for coverage.

— A new study finds the federal health reform-law will greatly reduce the number of Californians who are uninsured. The report says nearly 5 million Californians will be eligible for coverage.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research issued the report. It says thanks to health reform, more than two out of three uninsured Californians will be eligible for Medi-Cal.

For the first time, nearly 3 million poor adults who don't have children will qualify for Medi-Cal coverage.

UCLA researcher Shana Alex Lavarreda said the expansion is scheduled to take place in 2014.

"We don't necessarily have to wait for 2014," Alex Lavarreda said, "because what's happening is that childless adults are going to be able to start enrolling in Medi-Cal through their counties as early as this year."

The federal government has granted California a waiver, so it can get a jump start on health reform.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed some cuts to Medi-Cal services and doctors who treat Medi-Cal patients. Alex Lavarreda doesn't expect eligibility for the program to be affected.

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