ADHC Saga About to Take a Pivotal Turn

The state Department of Health Care Services is moving to cancel its July 26 court hearing over the legality of eliminating the ADHC program.

DHCS also sent a letter this week to CMS asking for a three-month extension to the original Sept. 1 elimination date. That request was approved by CMS and that approval is being used as the basis for canceling the upcoming court date, according to Lydia Missaelides of the California Association of Adult Day Services.

On top of all of that, the word in the Dome is Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is set to veto the KAFI program as soon as today, or possibly over the weekend.

The KAFI program, a half-cost version of ADHC called Keeping Adults Free from Institutions, was created by AB 96 (Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills). It is one of the last bills remaining on Brown’s desk.

Brown has until midnight Tuesday to approve or reject the bill. That day was expected to be a huge one for adult day health care services — the same day as the ADHC elimination court date.

But all of that could head south if Brown vetoes KAFI as expected and if the court date is aborted. Advocates could be looking at no KAFI program and no immediate ADHC court date.

That extension was originally announced as a month-to-month plan, and was prompted in part by pressure from legislative leaders, who were introducing a bill to extend the deadline. The state then announced its own extension, and originally said it wanted to extend the deadline on a month-to-month basis. In the letter to CMS, the requested extension goes till Dec. 1.

If Brown announces his decision on the KAFI program today or over the weekend, that is most likely bad news for advocates, since Fridays are usually reserved for items politicians hope to bury in the end-of-the-week news cycle. It’s the day politically reserved for scandal admissions, sincere apologies — and vetoes.

A number of Capitol staffers said the expectation is that a veto is on its way, and Missaelides echoed that. “Everyone is expecting the veto to come in the next day or so,” she said.

Of course, no one knows what Brown will do until he does it, and there’s a chance that it won’t be a veto. “If it’s approval, you would expect that to come Monday or Tuesday,” Missaelides said.

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