Budget Ax-tions and Non-Ax-tions

We’ll file a more complete report later, but we wanted to get this out into the ether for our non-Sacramento allies who are interested.

Both the full Senate Budget Committee, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee that oversees the health budget, voted on a number of items in the budget today. I watched the Senate, so I’ll only have the Senate votes right now, but here’s how it shakes down (with some parenthetical comments):

  • Healthy Families payment to health plans reduced by 5 percent: Approved 11-0.
  • Increase in Healthy Families Program premiums for some enrollees: Modified — the committee halved the amount of the premium increase to subscribers (more details to come) 8-3 (Republicans wanted the original governor’s proposal, which had higher rate increases.)
  • Increase Healthy Families co-payments: Rejected 8-3 (Republicans supported the copayment increase).
  • Limit dental benefits in Healthy Families: Modified (Rather than a $1,000 annual cap, the committee approved a $1,500 annual cap).
  • Use Prop.99 tobacco money to keep rural health projects in Healthy Families: Approved
  • Quarterly status reports for children: Rejected/Modified 9-0 (would be semi-annual status reports resulting in fewer disenrolled children. Republican went along, but preferred quarterly status reports).
  • Quarterly status reports for parents: Rejected 8-3 (Republicans preferred quarterly status reports)
  • Eliminate state payment of Medicare Part B premiums for extremely low income seniors on Medi-Cal: Modified 8-3 (more details to come)
  • Denied Medi-Cal eligibility for working parents: Rejected 8-3
  • Reduce Medi-Cal services for legal immigrants: Rejected 8-3
  • Require undocumented immigrants to re-establish restricted Medi-Cal eligibility every month: Rejected 8-3
  • Reduce Medi-Cal provider rate reimbursements by 5 percent — rather than 10 percent as previously approved and signed: Approved 7-2
  • Elimination of adult dental benefits: Rejected/Modified (to retain a $1,800 annual cap on dental services) 7-2
  • Elimination of Medi-Cal vital benefits, such as eyeglasses, incontinence creams and washes, podiatrist, optometrist, etc.: Rejected 7-2
  • Increase the taking away of more federal money from public hospitals: Rejected 8-0
  • 10 percent payment reduction for private and district hospitals: Rejected 8-0
  • Reduce payments to hospitals that don’t contract with the state: Approved 7-2
  • Reduce funding for California Children’s Services: Rejected 7-1
  • Modify Rate reduction fo Genetically Handicapped Persons Program to five percent: Approved 7-1.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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