House Report Predicts $10.8 Billion Hit for Medi-Cal
The second half of a one-two punch to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, was delivered this week in the form of a congressional report estimating federal cutbacks could be more than three times what the Bush administration predicts.
Coming on the heels of the first punch -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) proposal to cut Medi-Cal payments to health care providers by 10% because of California's budget shortfall -- the report released this week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee looms especially large in California.
The House committee estimates proposed changes to federal Medicaid guidelines would reduce payments to states by nearly $50 billion over five years. California would get $10.8 billion less over five years, the largest hit by far among the 39 states included in the report.
"As the economy tips into recession, the last thing we should be doing is taking federal funds from states, especially funds that are supposed to help people with their health and medical expenses," said Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.), chair of the Oversight Committee.
Officials at CMS discounted the committee's report, sticking by the Office of Management and Budget's estimate that federal Medicaid payments to states would decline by about $15 billion over the next five years under the president's proposal.
While lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., hash out the details of Medi-Cal funding, other health care-related bills are making their way through the California Legislature. Here's a look at recent activity.