In an interview for a California Healthline special audio report, Senate Health Committee Chair Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) discussed Medi-Cal provider reimbursements, a state Department of Public Health and other health care issues that she expects the Legislature to take up in 2006.
Ortiz said that efforts to provide health insurance coverage to children are emerging as priorities for the 2006 legislative session. “The rosiest picture is we actually increase eligibility for Healthy Families and the children,” Ortiz said, adding, “I think there’s a small opportunity, in fact, to try to push that, and, maybe, indeed, there’s a glimmer of hope with this administration … to find a way to increase eligibility, rather than as his budget now proposes simply increasing funding for outreach of the currently eligible that are not enrolled.”
In addition, Ortiz said that legislators agreed on providing funds to cover the cost of drugs for people who are unable to receive medications under the Medicare drug benefit but that there was some disagreement about what led to the situation (Rebillot, California Healthline, 2/21).
The complete audio of the interview is available online for download in mp3 format.
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