Battle Over Cuts to Cancer Screening Effort Heats Up in Assembly
During a hearing on Monday, Assembly Budget Committee Chair Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) asserted that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration did not have the authority to cut funding for the Every Woman Counts program, Capitol Weekly reports (Maclachlan, Capitol Weekly, 2/11).
In December, the state announced that beginning on Jan. 1, enrollment in the Every Woman Counts program would be frozen for six months. Moreover, when enrollment in the program is reopened, state officials plan to limit eligibility to women ages 50 and older.
Prior to Jan. 1, the program provided no-cost mammograms to eligible women ages 40 and older. The program is targeted at low-income women who do not qualify for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (California Healthline, 1/19).
The program is funded by a combination of federal funds and money from a state tobacco tax increase.
Evans said the state Department of Public Health cut the program after the Assembly Budget Committee denied the administration's initial request to do so.
DPH Director Mark Horton said cuts to EWC were necessary and maintained that Evans' committee approved them, a characterization Evans denied.Horton said the agency will save $16 million by freezing enrollment and restricting some services, such as changing the age of eligibility (Capitol Weekly, 2/11). 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.