Gov. Brown Lobbies for Medi-Cal Waiver During Washington, D.C., Visit
During a visit to Washington D.C. last week, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) lobbied the Obama administration for a waiver that would allow the state to enactÂ certain Medi-Cal cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports.Â Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Brown met with President Obama and other Democratic governors during a meeting of the National Governors Association. He later met with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the waiver.
Brown is seeking authorization to charge Medi-Cal beneficiaries copayments for emergency department visits and appointments with dentists and physicians, beginning in October (York, Los Angeles Times, 2/27).
The copay proposal was passed as part of last year's state budget. Brown and state lawmakers said the requirement would save $511 million annually.
Details of Meeting With Sebelius
According to Brown, Sebelius said there are legal obstacles to enacting his Medi-Cal plan.
She indicated that there are other ways California could reduce program spending but did not provide specific examples, Brown noted (Los Angeles Times, 2/27).
Brown suggested that negotiations on the copay proposal still are open with the Obama administration.He said, "I think there's a willingness to work together, and exactly what that will result in will require more meetings" (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 2/27). 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.