Medi-Cal is potentially getting, at least by several estimates, $11.23 billion from the economic stimulus in increased funds. Yet the budget deal signed by the Governor today uses so much of that money for fixing the deficit and other purposes that steep additional Medi-Cal cuts may be taken.
The health cuts that are “triggered” depending on the amount of economic stimulus money are a 10% cut in public hospitals, and the elimination of several benefits (like dental coverage) for parents, seniors, and people with disabilities on Medi-Cal coverage. There’s also very ugly cuts in SSI/SSP, IHSS, and CalWORKS.
Many–including some legislators, we think–assumed that the federal economic stimulus money will be enough to prevent these cuts.
But Administration officials are now saying–only after the budget has been signed–that their estimate is that the federal money is not enough to meet the threshold to prevent the cuts.
We know others have different estimates, and a final determination has to be made by April 1st, by Governor Schwarzenegger’s Director of Finance Mike Genest, and Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
So just when you thought the budget battles and suspense over cuts was over–they are not.