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The issue of affordable healthcare has led to programs such as Medicaid, which is jointly funded by the federal government and the individual states. The healthcare system in California faces challenges in covering the necessary amount needed for the Medicaid program. The lack of funds in Medicaid has created some controversy between doctors and patients. There is an ongoing trend with doctors setting a limited acceptance for patients with Medicaid due to funding issues with the program. The issues facing the Medicaid program are pushing doctors not to accept Medicaid patients, a dangerous issue that needs to be prioritized.

Medicaid provides coverage to lower-income individuals and families and those who meet other specific criteria. It is a safety net for millions of Americans, and without it millions would be facing major risks with the cost of health care without insurance. In California, Medicaid covers about a third of the population, and this number will continue to increase under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s leadership.

With the increase of people covered under Medicaid, a crisis has arisen. Providers are asking to be paid more by the Medicaid program in California, but unfortunately, there is a lack of funds due to budget deficits, leaving healthcare providers’ needs unfulfilled. To find a solution to this problem, Newsom and the California legislature chose to raise taxes for the private companies that contract with the state to cover the cost of the Medicaid program. This increase is a strategic way of amassing more funding. The tax increase makes the situation more sustainable for doctors but not sustainable for California overall over a long period of time. 

Newsom’s plan to increase taxes seems like a great solution at first, but there are some ramifications. More money that satisfies the amount needed to cover Medicaid will come in, but the financial strain is simply being placed on private contractors with the state. Senior vice president for governmental affairs for the California Medical Association, Stuart Thompson, expressed concern about a scenario where the program goes on and then reaches a cliff. Shifting the financial burden temporarily relieves the situation but is ultimately not a long-lasting solution. 

Some other solutions should be brainstormed in case this model plan backfires in California. There could be more of a focus placed on minimizing hospitalizations and emergency room visits through approaches like offering same-day appointment visits. The inflation of healthcare costs is bound to affect the residents of California in negative ways, such as more people not being able to afford healthcare for themselves and their families. The underlying issue of expensive health care must be adequately addressed. Situations like these call for a rebrand of the healthcare system. Increasing taxes for private companies generates more revenue, but addressing the healthcare prices in the first place can help to attack the root of the problem. Examining other countries and their healthcare processes could provide solutions to how California can improve its system. It is time that California looks into regulating healthcare costs because without regulation, the inflation of costs is affecting millions of residents and pose a threat to the security and health of the people.