Study Says California Can Avoid Medi-Cal Cuts, Tax Increases
California will receive enough federal funding through the economic stimulus package to avoid steeper tax hikes and deeper cuts to Medi-Cal and other programs, according to a California Budget Project study, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Hotakainen, Sacramento Bee, 3/9).
In a report released Monday, CBP projects that California will receive $50.7 billion from the stimulus package (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/9).
Under the state budget deal enacted last month, at least $10 billion in stimulus money must go to California's General Fund to avoid more tax increases and spending cuts (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/10).
Last week, an state Department of Finance analysis projected that the stimulus would provide only $8 billion for the state general fund, triggering $1.8 billion in additional state taxes and the elimination of Medi-Cal coverage for adult dental care, podiatry and other services beginning July 1 (Sacramento Bee, 3/9).
CBP President Jean Ross maintains that there is "sufficient flexibility" in the funding for the state to account for the $10 billion needed to avoid the tax hikes and service cuts (Myers, "Capital Notes," KQED, 3/9).
In addition, CBP Senior Policy Analyst Scott Graves said the federal stimulus package allocates $11.2 billion in additional funding for Medi-Cal (Sacramento Business Journal, 3/9).
Mac Taylor, the state nonpartisan legislative analyst, will present projections on federal stimulus funding to the Assembly Budget Committee today ("Capital Notes," KQED, 3/9).
Under the state budget agreement, Finance Department Director Mike Genest and Treasurer Bill Lockyer (D) must decide how much money California will receive from the economic stimulus package by April 1 to determine whether the additional tax hikes and spending cuts will kick in.
Genest and Lockyer will hold a public hearing on the matter on March 17 (California Healthline, 3/5).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.