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California Lawmakers Question Brown Administration's Commitment to Medi-Cal Expansion

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013


The Governor's budget proposes two options for a Medi-Cal expansion, either the state takes on new consumers or the counties administrate their health care.

In either scenario, the administration wants to reassess which social programs are run by which level of government, and who will be paying. 

Assemblymember Holly Mitchell says spending time on that discussion now could endanger the state's ability to take full advantage of the federal initiative.

MITCHELL:"Why would we make it contingent upon punting another social services program down to the county? It just doesn't make sense. Furthermore, it could potentially slow down our ability to operationalize this expansion in a timely manner."   

Members of an Assembly budget committee raised questions about the administration's commitment to the Medi-Cal expansion.

But Toby Douglas of the California Department of Health Care Services says the administration is will implement it… It's just a question of how.

DOUGLAS: "Given that there will be an increased obligation on the state and at the same time, a reduction of the obligation on the county, we need to examine how we look at the realignment resources and other resources and use them for other social service needs."

State lawmakers have introduced two bills to implement the Medi-Cal expansion - both would create a state-led program.  
The bills will be up for votes in both houses of the legislature on Thursday.
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