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As economy stumbles, Medi-Cal costs climb

In California’s state Capitol, they call it counter-cyclical, a mundane term used to describe the volatile rollercoaster effect of a bad economy on government-run social programs. As the economy and tax revenues decline, demand for many state-run programs increases, putting more stress on the budget just when it can handle it least. The grand daddy of all counter-cyclical programs: Medi-Cal, the state and federal program that provides health care for the poor.