Real Cuts Real Pain Vital Medi-Cal Benefits Eliminated for over 2 Million Californians

As part of a budget adopted by Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature in February, ten categories of benefits were completely eliminated for adults in Medi-Cal.1 The elimination of these vital benefits, described below, will reduce total Medi-Cal spending by $258.8 million in the current fiscal year, of which half ($129.4m) would have been paid by the federal government. Focusing on the budget impact, however, does not adequately put into context the true impact and loss of dignity for Californians who will suffer the most when these benefits are eliminated on July 1, 2009. The benefit eliminations will significantly affect more than two million of the lowest-income Californians who depend on these services as their lifeline.2 In almost all cases, these adults live below the poverty level (earning less than ~$900 per month) and will be hit several times by the elimination of Medi-Cal benefits.