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Green Party of California

California Greens denounce ‘heartless scheme' by Schwarzenegger administration to collect assets of elderly Medi-Cal patients

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Kevin McKeown, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-393-3639,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO, Ca. (March 23, 2005) – The Green Party of California Wednesday described as "heartless" a scheme revealed this week by the Schwarzenegger administration that would allow the state to collect assets from the heirs of elderly and disabled Californians almost even before they are buried.

The Department of Health Services, claiming the state is acting because federal law requires the state to recover the cost of Medi-Cal benefits provided low-income elderly who die, said that by declaring an "emergency" it need not even have public hearings before acting.

"As taxpayers, we expect the state to exercise fiscal responsibility to meet its expenses. Single-payer health care would save us fully half of what we collectively spend on health care, and it's more financially sound than shaking down the families of the elderly and disabled for their last coins," said Beth Moore Haines, GPCA spokesperson.

"This action, which is, in effect, a scheme to pocket any loose change the state can find, or dig up, from the still-grieving heirs of recently deceased, low-income relatives, is heartless," she added.

The Green Party has long held that Democratic and Republican politicians – those whose votes are influenced with corporate-backed campaign contributions – should ignore insurance company special interests and vote in a single-payer, universal health care plan.

"Under such a plan, everyone would be covered and the state of California would actually profit financially. And then, such cruel policies such as this Medi-Cal asset collection plan would not be even be contemplated," said Moore Haines.


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437