Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Brown’s Proposed Health Cuts
On Wednesday, California lawmakers heard testimony from advocates whoÂ discussed the possible effects of Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposed cuts to health care programs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Buchanan/Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/27).
Earlier this month, Brown released a budget plan that would cut:
- $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program;
- $486 million from In-Home Supportive Services; and
- $135.7 million from Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program (California Healthline, 1/21).
The governor's proposal also calls for the elimination of California's adult day health care program.
Senate Subcommittee Hearing
During a Wednesday hearing of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, health advocates said that Brown's proposed spending reductions could lead to negative consequences for low-income residents with serious health conditions (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/27).
Advocates warned that people with cancer, HIV and other chronic conditions could lose access to services and be forced to seek care at emergency departments, which would drive up overall costs in the health care system.
Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), chair of the Senate subcommittee, said lawmakersÂ are facing aÂ "stark reality"Â in considering budget cuts. He added, "I think it's been well said that a lot of these recommendations will lead to the most dire of consequences, that people will lose their lives" (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 1/27).
For additional coverage of the Senate subcommittee hearing, see today's Capitol Desk post.
Assembly Subcommittee Hearing
On Tuesday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services heard testimony from eldercare advocates who argued against Brown's plan toÂ eliminate the state's Multipurpose Senior Services Program.
MSSP case managers help coordinate health and social services for up to 11,789 elderly Medi-Cal beneficiaries who choose to live at home.
Ginni Bella Navarre, adult services specialist for the Legislative Analyst's Office, said MSSP might be eliminated as early as June of this year to reduce the state spending by an estimated $19.9 million for fiscal year 2011-2012.
Advocates argued that eliminating MSSP could force program beneficiaries to relocate to nursing facilities, which would increase costs for the state (Chaussee, Capitol Weekly, 1/27).
On Wednesday, KQED's "The California Report" reported on Brown's efforts to build support for his budget proposal (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 1/26).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.