Awaiting the news…

The Budget Conference Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, is expected to make decisions on outstanding issues–including the bulk of the health and human service cuts–later today, Monday. We’ll try to Twitter the results at @healthaccess, and have a post here about the specific health care cuts.

Here’s a one-pager of the health cuts:
http://www.health-access.org/files/preserving/Budget%20May%20Revision%20Fact%20Sheet%2006-01-09.pdf

Among the items previously “held open” that the Budget Conference Committee is considering includes:

* A controversial proposed waiver the governor is seeking from the federal government, which the Department of Finance said would save the general fund $1 billion. The governor says the waiver will allow him flexibility to operate outside of some of the federal government’s Medicaid rules, and the conditions of accepting billions from the economic stimulus package, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
* Elimination of the Healthy Families program that serves nearly 1 million children. Abolishing the program would save the general fund $368 million but would also cost the state $644 million in matching federal funds. While the committee has suggested it would not eliminate the program, it still is possible that there could be premium increases or eligibility reductions.
* Elimination of all general fund support, or $34.2 million, for community health clinics — including rural, seasonal migratory worker clinics and American Indian health clinics, as well as the Expanded Access to Primary Care Clinics. Together, the clinics provide about 2.3 million visits annually for low-income and uninsured people
* Elimination of maternal and child health (MCH) funding for the black infant health program designed to help “at risk” pregnant women and parents; the Adolescent Family Life program, which helps 17,000 pregnant teens up to 18; a birth defects monitoring program; a local county grant program aimed at improving the health of young women and families
* A proposal to restrict Medi-Cal services to new legal immigrants and people allowed to relocate to the U.S. by the federal government – such as survivors of the Vietnam War who aided U.S. troops.
* Reduced funding for AIDS programs, from HIV education and preventions, to assistance for AIDS drugs.
* A proposal to eliminate Adult Day Health Care opened a discussion as to whether various programs aimed at helping the elderly, including Alzheimer’s victims, shouldn’t be re-examined, restructured and streamlined to make them more efficient. The proposal, which the Department of Finance said would save $170.5 million, was held over previously as well.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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