State Lawmakers Hit the Road for Federal Dollars
Action in Sacramento slowed down a bit this week, as more than 30 of the state's legislators were in Washington, D.C., to talk about immigration reform, climate change, and of course, health care. Aside from whatever policy discussions may be taking place behind the scenes, California's state legislators are focused largely on money and what can be done to loosen Washington's purse strings for California.
As far as health care is concerned, pushing for more money might feel a bit awkward after HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said he would back Gov. Schwarzenegger's request for $3.45 billion in additional Medi-Cal funding to help pay for his health care reform proposal. But even if that money comes through, California still would be asking the federal government for another $250 million to rework the way state residents get health care under the Schwarzenegger plan.
While state lawmakers were pushing the envelope with the state's Congressional delegation, the governor took his case for health care reform to conservatives via the air waves, bringing up the issue in a conversation with commentator Rush Limbaugh after calling in to his radio show.
Whether anything comes of state lawmakers' search for more federal dollars or the governor's on air health care pitch remains to be seen. In the meantime, California legislators remaining in Sacramento this week took action on bills to combat health disparities and expand disease reporting requirements.