Obama’s Budget Would Provide $1.5B in Extra Medi-Cal Funds
Yesterday, President Obama released a budget plan that would provide $1.5 billion in additional funding for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The funding for California comes from the $25 billion allotted for state Medicaid programs under the president's budget plan. The additional state Medicaid funds are an extension of a program from the 2009 economic stimulus package (Simon, Los Angeles Times, 2/1).
Falling Short of Governor's Request
The president's $1.5 billion allotment for California is only a fraction of the $6.9 billion in federal assistance that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and other state officials are seeking to help close the state's budget deficit.
Obama's budget also would not implement the governor's request for a permanent change in federal Medicaid reimbursement formulas. Schwarzenegger's administration has said such a change would generate an additional $1.8 billion for California.
In addition, the president's budget would not comply with the governor's appeal for extra reimbursements for Medicare, the state's CalWORKS welfare program and other services (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/2).
If the state does not obtain the $6.9 billion federal funding request, Schwarzenegger has threatened to eliminate programs such as In-Home Supportive Services and Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for California's Department of Finance, said Obama's $1.5 billion Medi-Cal allocation "represents a down payment on what California is owed, and the governor will continue to work with the state's congressional delegation and federal officials to secure the balance" (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).
Today, KQED's "Forum" is scheduled to include a segment about how Obama's proposed budget could affect California. Panelists slated to participate include:
- David Henderson, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey;
- Carolyn Lochhead, Washington, D.C., correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle; and
- Jean Ross, executive director of the California budget project (Krasny, "Forum," KQED, 2/2).