Medi-Cal Patients Sue Over Application Backlog

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Medi-Cal patients and health advocates have filed a lawsuit against the state for leaving hundreds of thousands of low-income and disabled people waiting months for health care. A coalition of legal aid organizations and health care advocates filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of four Medi-Cal patients. They are asking the California Department of Health Care Services to process applications within a required 45-day time frame. One plaintiff, Frances Rivera of Visalia, lost her adult son, who died from a pulmonary embolism while waiting to hear about his Medi-Cal application. The application was approved two months after he died. Spokesman Norman Williams says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation. California's Med-Cal application backlog, as high as 900,000 earlier this year, is down to 350,000.