On our new website, we have a new, one-page fact sheet on the budget cuts, that puts all the proposed cuts to health care on one page.
Clearly, the centerpiece will be the $750 million cut to Medi-Cal requested as a “waiver” from federal requirements when California accepted the stimulus dollars.
We understand Governor Schwarzenegger was in Washington, DC, arguing for so-called “flexibility” to make $750 million in Medi-Cal cuts. Health Access and other organizations will be clear with the federal government and the California Congressional delegation that the Governor’s request would deny coverage to hundreds of thousands of California children, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities. Such a change would remove the accountability Washington built into the economic stimulus package, and undermine the current effort for health care reform.
Today’s stories regarding the federal decision regarding home care wages should not be seen as an indication of acceptance of the Governor’s May Revise proposal on Medi-Cal eligibility cuts. That decision was based on a different part of the law.
Making the eligibility cuts that the Governor has suggested would take an Act of Congress. The federal stimulus law clearly says that states will only get the increased Medicaid money if they make no changes to their “eligibility standards, methodologies, or procedures” as of July 1, 2008. That is why the Legislature had to reverse the September 2008 change requiring children to renew their Medi-Cal eligibility twice a year — to avoid losing $8 billion dollars in federal matching dollars.
In the next few days, Health Access and other organizations will release more detailed information about the impacts of a $750 million Medi-Cal cut.