Concerns Growing Over Cuts to Family Planning Services, Teen Clinics
Supporters of family planning services are growing increasingly concerned about potential cuts that could result from California's mounting budget deficit, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) latest budget proposal includes a plan to roll back Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to 2007 levels for some family planning services. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The change in reimbursement levels would help the state cut spending by about $15 million in fiscal year 2010-2011. However, it also could lead to a loss in federal matching funds.
In addition, Schwarzenegger has threatened to eliminate the state's Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment Program unless the state receives nearly $7 billion in federal assistance. Family PACT funds teenage health clinics and other services.
A Medicaid rule waiver allows California to offer Family PACT services to adults at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The waiver also calls for the federal government to cover 90% of the program's cost.
The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that eliminating Family PACT would reduce state spending by $192 million by FY 2011-2012. However, LAO also predicts that cutting the program would result in a loss of nine times that amount in federal funds. Â
In addition, some advocates say cutting Family PACT would lead to lower rates of preventive screenings and higher rates of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.The California Academy of Family Physicians, the California Primary Care Association, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and other groups are lobbying the federal government to increase funding for Family PACT (Espinoza, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 2/21). 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.