Assembly Budget Panel To Probe Gov. Brown’s Medi-Cal Expansion Plans
On Wednesday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services is scheduled to hold a hearing on proposals by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to expand Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Mishak, Los Angeles Times, 3/5).
Under the ACA, the Medi-Cal expansion would affect individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or $15,415 annually.
Brown's fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal earmarked $350 million to cover the increased enrollment.
The federal government will fund the expansion for the first few years, according to the ACA (California Healthline, 3/4).
Brown has said that the state might try to cover subsequent costs by reducing the roughly $2 billion it provides counties each year to cover health care services for uninsured individuals (Los Angeles Times, 3/5).
County officials have expressed concern that such proposals could have a negative effect on their safety-net health care facilities (California Healthline, 2/26).
Details of Subcommittee Report
In a report developed for the hearing, subcommittee staff said that lawmakers should call for more details on Brown's Medi-Cal expansion plans and question whether counties should have to share expansion costs when the state will receive federal subsidies.The report states, "State costs are not projected to increase significantly for a minimum of three years, and potentially for as long as a decade or more," adding, "Should the Medi-Cal expansion be derailed or even delayed as a result of self-imposed hurdles, a truly historic opportunity will have been lost" (Los Angeles Times, 3/5). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.