Governor’s Campaign for Budget Accord Continues in Riverside
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) continued his tour of California urging lawmakers to pass the state budget, saying that health care reform measures and other legislation will not be taken up until a budget is approved, KESQ.com reports (KESQ.com, 8/15).
The governor appeared at a rehabilitation center in Riverside that he said has been hit hard by delays in Medi-Cal provider payments resulting from the budget standoff.
Bruce Bennett, president of the Community Care and Rehabilitation Center, said Medi-Cal payments comprise about one-third of the facility's budget. About 40% of the 150 patients at the center are Medi-Cal beneficiaries, Bennett said (DeArmond, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/15).
The state has not made about $787 million in Medi-Cal provider payments since the July 1 start of the fiscal year, and an additional $271 million will not be paid to Medi-Cal providers on Thursday unless a budget is approved.
Without a budget in place, California has suspended Medi-Cal provider payments to long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals and some other health care providers that do not bill Medi-Cal directly. Physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers that bill Medi-Cal directly have continued to receive provider payments from the state (California Healthline, 8/14).
Speaking at an invitation-only event, the governor indicated that the budget stalemate would be resolved soon.
Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) declined to say how soon a budget would be passed but said that lawmakers are close to an agreement. "We're trying to wrap this up as quickly as possible," he said (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/15).
If the budget impasse is not resolved soon, Senate Republicans again will offer an emergency measure to fund some programs through the end of the month, according to Larry Venus, a spokesperson for Dutton (KESQ.com, 8/15).
Video and text of the governor's remarks at the rehabilitation center are available on his Web site.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.