Budget Deadlock Delays Second Big Medi-Cal Provider Payment
The ongoing budget stalemate in California has forced the Department of Finance to withhold a $212.6 million payment scheduled on Thursday to hospitals, clinics and nursing homes that treat Medi-Cal beneficiaries, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The delayed Medi-Cal payment will be the second in two weeks, with state officials last week withholding a $227 million payment to Medi-Cal providers.
California's budget is six weeks overdue. The Assembly on July 20 approved a spending plan, but Senate Republicans have held out for more spending cuts and other demands.
Senate Republicans argue that if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Senate Democrats were serious about delayed payments during the budget deadlock, they could have passed emergency legislation last week to continue funding. Instead, the Democrats refused to waive procedural rules to consider the measure.
The bill by Sen. Jeff Denham (R-Modesto) sought to appropriate $10 billion for the State Controller's Office to pay state expenses until a budget is passed or until Aug. 20, when the Assembly is expected to return from summer recess.
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said that "for [Republicans] to just come up with this idea that somehow we can pick and choose what we're going to fund is disingenuous" (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 8/7).