CATHEDRAL CITY - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) met with doctors and Valley leaders at the Centro Medico Cathedral City (CMCC) Friday morning to push the Affordable Care Act and highlight the millions of currently uninsured Californians.
More than 1.4 million people in California are eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal. Sen. Boxer pointed out that in the Coachella Valley alone, there are many low-income families that will be available for financial assistance under the ACA.
"In the Valley, we're looking at 130,000 eligible people now for Medi-Cal," said Sen. Boxer, "Even those who go get their health insurance through exchange may love it here."
Also, Sen. Boxer added that those under Medicare will see more discounts on prescription drugs and free check-ups. Already 125,000 people have signed up under Covered California
, the state's individual health insurance marketplace.
"There are seven million Californians who we believe could well sign up," said Sen. Boxer.
Sen. Boxer toured CMCC, which is part of the Borrego Community Health Foundation
, and spoke about its expansion. It is one of dozens of non-profit health centers in California that are receiving ACA funding for renovation. The clinic will have an expansion of 9,000 sq. ft. and more exam rooms.
"We anticipate a growth or expansion of number served throughout our organization to almost double as a result of the ACA," said Cynthia Preciado, Chief Development Officer for Borrego Community Health Foundation.
The numbers are staggering when talking about affordable medical services in the Valley.
"It's a highly underserved population and the ratio sometimes goes up to 10,000 to one physician to be able to access services," said Preciado.
Meanwhile, the federal website to sign up for coverage is still experiencing some problems, which Sen. Boxer addressed during her visit.
"Yes, glitches happen. Let's face facts, glitches happen, and glitches get fixed," said Sen. Boxer.