Calif. Officials Delay Service Reductions for In-Home Care Program
On Wednesday, California's Department of Social Services announced that it would push back a Sept. 1 deadline for disenrolling or reducing aid for people in the state's In-Home Supportive Services program, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The Legislature approved the IHSS reductions as part of the budget revision package passed last month. When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed the revision,Â he used line-item vetoes to deepen funding cuts for the program.
DSS officials sent the announcement to counties that administer IHSS programs.
The announcement comes a few days after advocates sent a letter urging the state to delay cutting IHSS benefits. The letter said the department had not given counties clear direction for making the cuts and had not informed any current IHSS beneficiaries that they would be dropped from the program.
DSS spokesperson Lizelda Lopez said officials decided to push back the IHSS service reductions because of several stakeholder concerns. She added that the department needs more time to change IHSS' payroll structure and instruct counties on implementing the cuts.
Savings To Shrink?
By dropping people from IHSS and reducing services, the state estimated that it would reduce spending on the program by $82.1 million between Sept. 1 and June 2010.
However, each month of the delay will reduce the estimated savings by about $8 million, according to H.D. Palmer, Department of Finance spokesperson (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 8/20).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.