To the editor: California's budget is again in peril due to uncontrolled healthcare expenses. Medicaid (California's Medi-Cal) has always been underfunded and poorly run. Should we continue a healthcare system that is fiscally unsound and a public embarrassment or discard it in favor of transparency, efficiency and affordability? ("California's soaring healthcare costs bode ill for the budget," Jan. 8)
Single-payer would fit the bill: Mandate price controls on insurance, drugs and medical supplies while mobilizing nationally to cover everyone, not only those on Medicaid. We cannot have fiscal stability locally without a fiscally sound healthcare system.
Jerome P. Helman, Venice
To the editor: The Times has trumpeted Obamacare's success because it was able to "insure" thousands of new people, many of whom enrolled in Medi-Cal. Now it's reported the surge in Medi-Cal is causing havoc with the state's budget.
It will get worse as federal subsidies are set to decrease and California's share of the cost increases.
Medi-Cal is not "insurance." It is a form of welfare. This is not to bash welfare, which at times serves a legitimate purpose. But the difference must remain clear or we fool ourselves into going bankrupt.
True compassion is judged by adopting systems that lessen the need for dependency.
Jerry Travers, Los Angeles