Desperate for Doctors
Will Obamacare deliver access to physicians for poor Kern residents?

About this project

One year from now, tens of thousands of uninsured Kern County residents will celebrate the bounty of health reform – they will finally have a chance at health insurance. That’s when Medi-Cal, a publicly funded health program for low-income and disabled residents, will expand statewide, bringing the promise of coverage to perhaps 1 million more Californians. But many local doctors and health care leaders fear that the promise may be hollow. In Kern, they say, it’s already difficult for poor residents to find a doctor when they need one, and that doctors and clinics already are overwhelmed. It’s a situation that could worsen, they fear, with the addition of thousands of new patients.

Stories

Are there enough Medi-Cal doctors in Kern County? Who knows?

State health officials say there are 2,023 doctors who see Medi-Cal patients in Kern County.

For one family, health care means a four-hour drive

For 13-year-old Devin Vallejo of Oildale, visiting a specialist for his juvenile diabetes means a two-hour drive each way to the children’s hospital in Madera.

What the experts say about doctor access in Kern County

“For so many millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will be a little bit frustrating. They will have the card, they will have this new coverage.

Will Obamacare solve doctor access for Kern County poor?

One year from now, tens of thousands of uninsured Kern County residents will celebrate the bounty of health reform — they will finally have a chance at health insurance.

Will rate increase buy more Medi-Cal doctors for Kern County?

Bakersfield doctor Hasmukh Amin is bracing for competition.

Community’s generosity to struggling family brings grandmother to tears

In Bakersfield, one good deed often begets another. A prime example presented itself this week when Caroline and Elwood Elliott set out to fix Pamela Mayfield’s truck.

Are there enough Medi-Cal doctors in the Central Valley?

Senior Writer Emily Bazar appeared on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition program on February 5 to discuss the availability of doctors for the region’s poorest residents.

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© 2018 Center for Health Reporting

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