Brown Says Health Care Safety Net On Par With Other States’ Systems
As Gov. Jerry Brown (D) pushes for cuts in state spending for low-income residents, he argues that Californiaâs safety-net system provides more generous benefits than many other states,Â the Sacramento Bee reports.
The governor said ranking California's health care safety net against other states is a matter of relativity. He said the state is doing "reasonably well," compared with other states.
Twelve percent of all U.S. citizens live in California. However,Â the state has 18% of the U.S. Medicaid population in part because it has a large number of low-wage workers who lack employer-based coverage.
In addition, the state's residents account forÂ nearly 33% of the nation's welfare-to-work recipients.
Although California covers a larger share of its population under Medi-Cal, the stateâs Medicaid program, it spends less per resident, according to the Bee. The state ranks 46th in the nation for reimbursing physicians who treat Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
Brown's Proposed Cuts
The governor has proposed a 10% reductionÂ in payments toÂ Medi-Cal providers that would produce an estimated savings $719 million. Advocates for low-income residents have said cutting the rates would reduce access to care because fewer health care providers would accept Medi-Cal patients.
Brown also has proposed reducing the state's welfare caseload by removing all welfare benefits after 48 months if the adult does not meet work requirements. This change would reduce state spending by an estimated $698.1 million and eliminate 115,000 families from the program (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/13).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.