What We're Reading: Taxpayers Cover 70% of California's Healthcare Costs

What we're reading, September 2, 2016: California taxpayers will cover 70% of the state's healthcare costs in 2016; President Barack Obama supports recommendations to reform the Veterans Affairs healthcare system; and California is close to criminalizing undercover stings against Planned Parenthood.

California’s massive expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, has greatly increase the amount of healthcare spending costs that taxpayers shoulder. According to Kaiser Health News, taxpayers in California will cover 70% of the state’s healthcare spending, which amounts to $260 billion of $367 billion in 2016. Medi-Cal and Medicare account for roughly 47% of healthcare expenditures in California. Before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s healthcare system was mostly private.

President Barack Obama is supporting a congressional recommendation to reform healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The recommendation creates a veterans’ healthcare system that coordinates government and private care, reported Associated Press. The recommendation comes as part of an effort to overhaul VA healthcare after reports of long wait times for veterans seeking care.

California is close to making undercover stings against Planned Parenthood and other healthcare groups a crime, punishable by jail time. The California Senate has already approved the bill, which also has broad support in the assembly, according to The Washington Post. The Assembly passed an earlier version of the bill, and it is expected to pass the new one, too, which would send it on to the governor.