The Senate Budget committee met today to consider, among other things, the Governor’s proposed cuts to Health and Human Services. The Committee moved swiftly, as if pulling off a band-aid, to shorten if not to assuage the pain of their actions. While hearing the staff presentation about the proposed hard cap on physician visits, Senator Leno asked “does this action make us a death panel?” He apparently though yes, since the committee rejected that cut.
Cuts Approved By Committee
10% Reduction to Medicaid Providers
10% Reduction to Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled
10% Reduction to Nursing Homes
Acceptance of additional General Fund Savings
Mandatory Copay on Physician and Clinic Visits
Mandatory Pharmacy Copay
Mandatory Dental Copay
Eliminating Over the Counter Cough and Cold Medicines
Reduce Enteral Nutrition Products Benefits
Limit Hearing Aid Benefits
Redirect $1 Billion in Proposition 10 (First 5) funds – committee approved subcommittee recommendation to redirect these funds for 1 year only
Increase Premiums for Healthy Families
Hospital Copays for Healthy Families
Cuts Rejected By Committee
Hard Cap of 10 Physician/Clinic Visits per year
Hard Cap of 6 prescriptions per month
Hard Cap on Durable Medical Equipment
Hard Cap on Medical Supplies
Healthy Families Vision Coverage – committee voted to reject the elimination of vision coverage in Healthy Families, but to implement cost containment measures that would result in $3 million in savings.
Committee Chair Mark Leno expressed a commitment to reaching the Governor’s proposed reduction target numerically and to following the broad architecture of that proposal. Though Leno estimated that the Committee would reject 10% of Governor Brown’s proposed cuts to “soften the roughest edges,” he promised to propose alternative solutions, including ongoing cuts not proposed by the Governor, to achieve the same amount in savings.
More to come.