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Obama Blocks California From Charging for Care in Medicaid

The Obama administration blocked an effort by California to charge Medicaid patients for emergency room visits and hospital stays and allow health-care providers to turn away those who couldn’t pay.

A law signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown in March would have assessed co-payments in Medicaid for a variety of medical services, including prescription drugs. The co-payments were expected to save California $575 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.