Obama Signs Stimulus Plan; More Than $11B Expected for Medi-Cal
In Denver Tuesday, President Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus package that includes a number of health care provisions, the New York Times reports (Stolberg/Nagourney, New York Times, 2/18).
During a speech in which he discussed the benefits of the stimulus package, Obama said, "We have done more in 30 days to advance the cause of health care reform than this country has done in an entire decade" (Fletcher, Washington Post, 2/18). He added that the stimulus package provides "the biggest increase in basic research funding" for NIH, with an additional $10 billion for biomedical research and facility construction (Hall/Jackson, USA Today, 2/18).
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) estimated that the stimulus would send at least $78 billion to California.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Medi-Cal will get $11.2 billion in additional federal funding.Â Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Davies, san Jose Mercury News, 2/13).
Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack praised the provision in the stimulus package that will provide states with $87 billion in additional federal Medicaid funds but criticized the elimination of a provision in an earlier version of the package that would have allowed low-income workers who lost jobs that did not include health insurance to apply for Medicaid through 2010 (USA Today, 2/18).
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said that Obama might consider a second stimulus package, although no plan currently exists for such a package (Stolberg, New York Times, 2/18).
WBUR's "On Point" on Tuesday reported on the potential effects of the stimulus package on state budgets. The segment includes comments from:
- Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bureau Chief Evan Halper;
- Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers;
- Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D); and
- Menzie Chinn, a professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin (Clayson, "On Point," WBUR, 2/17).