Medi-Cal civil rights case one of the largest in decades

A group of Californians filed a civil rights lawsuit against Medi-Cal, the state's health plan for low-income residents, alleging failures in the program prevented Latinos from accessing vital healthcare services, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The complaint filed with HHS on Tuesday claims Medi-Cal's low reimbursement rates to physicians "effectively deny the full benefits of the Medi-Cal program to more than seven million Latino enrollees." 

The complaint voices three allegations against Medi-Cal:

  • Medi-Cal is violating federal law requiring Medicaid programs offer enough physicians for patients.
  • Owing to Medi-Cal's heavily Latino population the complaint alleges low physician reimbursements foster a "separate and unequal system of healthcare," a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 
  • According the complaint, Medi-Cal violates Affordable Care Act prohibitions against discrimination in health programs that receive federal funding.

The civil rights complaint demands Medi-Cal increase physician reimbursement rates and the federal government improve monitoring of the Medi-Cal program. 

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