Ruling Allows Calif. To Eliminate Denti-Cal, Other Medi-Cal Benefits
On Wednesday, a Sacramento County Superior Court ruled against an argument that California's scheduled elimination of some Medi-Cal benefits, including adult Denti-Cal, violates federal law, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Denti-Cal is the dental benefit provided through Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25).
In April, the California Primary Care Association filed the lawsuit along with Clinicas del Camino Real and Southern Trinity Health Services (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 6/25).
The suit sought to prevent the state from ending Medi-Cal payments for services at federally qualified health centers and rural health centers (California Healthline, 5/8). The plaintiffs claimed that state and federal law requires such centers to provide dental care and other services to all residents, regardless of income.
However, Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that the state Legislature had the right to cut adult Denti-Cal and other benefits when it voted in February on various measures to reduce state spending.
The cuts are scheduled to take effect July 1.Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president of CPCA, said ending the benefits will compel health centers to lay off workers and reduce hours (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25). 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.