Schwarzenegger Plans To Sign Budget Agreement Tomorrow
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) plans to sign a budget package tomorrow that includes $2 billion in cuts to health programs, the Sacramento Bee reports (Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 7/25).
Health Care-Related Provisions
The health cuts include a $1.3 billion hit for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, and a $129 million drop in state funding for Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program (Steinhauer, New York Times, 7/25).
In addition, the budget agreement projects that California would generate $1 billion by selling the quasi-public State Compensation Insurance Fund, the state's workers' compensation insurer of last resort.Â However, the Legislative Analyst's Office said the state is unlikely to be able to complete the sale in the current fiscal year (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 7/24).
Under the budget, about 40,000 people are expected to lose their eligibility for home health care services through the In-Home Supportive Services Program (Lin, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25).Â The package also increases oversight of home health care workers participating in IHSS in hopes of reducing fraud (Rothfeld/McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 7/25).
More Cuts Coming
The Senate approved the package early Friday morning, and the Assembly approved all but two bills Friday afternoon (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 7/25).Â The two measures the Assembly rejected would have provided about $1.1 billion in the deficit-reduction package by shifting transportation funding from local governments and permitting offshore oil drilling in California for the first time in 40 years (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25).
The governor plans to use his line-item veto authority to replace the funding lost through the Assembly's rejection of the bills (Yi et al., San Francisco Chronicle, 7/25).
The Legislature is in recess until Aug. 17 (Ventura County Star, 7/25).
Meanwhile, Hallye Jordan, a spokesperson for Controller John Chiang (D), said the controller will "pull the plug on IOUs and begin sending real checks" as soon as he determines that California has sufficient cash available to cover the state's expenses (Sacramento Bee, 7/25).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.