Described by Gov. Brown’s administration as “the most stable fiscal footing in well over a decade,” the May revision of the state’s 2013-14 budget was released May 14, maintaining a $1.1 billion reserve. The revision does not include a reversal of the Medi-Cal cuts to distinct-part skilled-nursing facilities. It does include a plan to move forward with the expansion of Medi-Cal using a state-based approach and maintaining the level of benefits provided to current beneficiaries, including county-based specialty mental health and substance use disorder services. The state proposes to include long-term care as a covered service if the federal government approves certain eligibility criteria. With the shift of responsibility from counties to the state, the revised budget estimates a fiscal transfer of $300 million from local health programs in 2013-14, increasing to a $1.3 billion shift by 2015-16.
CHA is disappointed that the Brown administration has not reversed deep and damaging Medi-Cal rate cuts in its May revision of the 2013-14 proposed budget. Those cuts are ill-timed, unproductive, and will devastate vital health care services to some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens. As California’s budget picture continues to improve, the administration should not pass on the opportunity to restore funding that would protect the most vulnerable among us and preserve a basic quality-of-life issue: access to quality health care. CHA has issued a press release, which is available at www.calhospital.org/media-statement/california-hospitals-disappointed-may-revise-doesnt-reverse-deep-damaging-medi-cal. For the state’s summary of the revised budget, visit www.ebudget.ca.gov.