A group of Latinos filed a lawsuit against California on Wednesday. They allege that the liberal state’s healthcare system is “racist.”
Medi-Cal, the state run healthcare program for the poor, services 7.2 million Hispanics. This week’s lawsuit, filed by five low-income residents and a large labor union, claims that Medi-Cal underpays doctors and provides patients with poor coverage. Those complaints alone might have been enough to trigger a lawsuit, but the plaintiffs’ anger goes deeper. They actually go so far as to accuse the state of racism.
Apparently, Medicare patients are much happier with their healthcare than those with Medi-Cal. Many white residents have Medicare; many Latinos have Medi-cal; and voila! you have the necessary ingredients for a liberal to complain about racism
“In effect, California has created a separate and unequal system of health care, one for the insurance program with the largest proportion of Latinos (Medi-Cal), and one for the other principal insurance plans, whose recipients are disproportionately white,” the suit, filed in Alameda County, reads.
If hippie California, the free-wheeling “sanctuary” state, is racist our society is in serious trouble. California residents go out of their way to protect undocumented Mexican immigrants, yet suddenly the state is guilty of discrimination?
NBC News reports:
“The plaintiffs argue that California is denying proper health care to about a third of the state’s residents by poorly funding the program that covers low-income families, some elderly patients, those with disabilities, foster children and pregnant women. The program also covers those whose incomes are near the federal poverty level, singles who were paid no more than $16,395 last year, or a family of four living on no more than $33,534.”
The lawsuit reflects the entitlement that has become so common among the left. The plaintiffs are not only demanding free healthcare but complaining that they’re currently not getting enough. Medicare covers the elderly, people who have contributed to the society.
It might be true that Medi-Cal is underfunded, but it’s a quite a leap to attribute the shortfall to racism. Nobody in the California legislature schemed for ways to harm Latinos. Government-funded healthcare is intended to help those who need it the most, not provide lavish benefits to everyone who asks for them.
A recently approved state budget appropriates more than $100 billion in Medi-Cal funding, but liberals still aren’t satisfied. People who depend on entitlement programs often begin steadily wanting more and more.
The plaintiffs’ suit, if it’s not dismissed, might have been better directed at the White House itself. After all, if the Trump administration had its way Medicaid programs would be drastically cut and far less people would be enrolled in Medi-Cal.
Thomas Saenz, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund who helped draft the lawsuit, told NBC News that he believes “it is the first time the civil rights approach has been tried in California. The legal approach is possible…because California is one of the few states to specifically prohibit discriminatory effects in state programs.”
People who receive their care through the Medi-Cal system complain that their access to physicians is significantly worse than others. It’s true that there are few Medi-Cal providers, but once again, the reason for this has nothing to do with racism. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors are underpaid, which might be true, and that the state does a poor job administering the program, which is almost certainly true.
“California Latino Medi-Cal recipients represented by some of the same groups filed a similar civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2015 alleging that the state’s poor care violated federal law. The complaint noted a study by the University of California, Davis, that found delayed care resulted in lower survival rates for cancer patients who depended on Medi-Cal,” NBC News writes.
Healthcare programs across the country are in serious trouble. Just don’t blame racism. That’s almost certainly not the cause.