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Kristin Olsen
California's soaring healthcare costs bode ill for the budget
California's soaring healthcare costs bode ill for the budget

California's budget, which bounced back after years of deficits, is now being squeezed by rising healthcare costs for the poor and for retired state workers. The mountain of medical bills threatens to undermine Gov. Jerry Brown's efforts to strengthen state finances — his central promise of the past four years. Enrollment in the state's healthcare program for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, has exploded by 50% since President Obama's signature law took effect. Although the federal government picks up most of the tab, state costs have also been growing, and faster than expected. Meanwhile, the annual bill for healthcare for public retirees — a benefit...

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