Back from his trips abroad, Governor Schwarzenegger just announced his signing of the various budget trailer bills, which implement various policy changes related to the budget.
More noteworthy is the signing of two bills to implement the pending Medi-Cal waiver, which is currently being negotiated between the state and federal governments. The bills are:
* SB 208 by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)
* AB 342 by Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles)
At stake in these bills and negotiations is significant federal funding for California, for both our budget and for the state’s health care safety-net, especially public hospitals. It includes a significant expansion of coverage–an early ramp-up of federal health reform–from current county dollars funded by new federal dollars. The negotiations will also determine the key consumer protections for seniors and people with disabilities in Medi-Cal, as many get shifted to managed care plans.
We are likely to find out the results of those negotiations soon, as the current waiver (and extension) runs out on October 31.