California Healthline: Another Legislative Possibility for Restoring Medi-Cal Funding

by George Lauer

There is clearly interest in the California Legislature in reversing or reducing the 10% cut in Medi-Cal reimbursements legislators approved in 2011, but how widespread or long-lived that interest might be is less clear. Also hard to predict is the reception such a plan might get if it makes it to the governor’s desk.

Two bills introduced last week could reverse or reduce the cutbacks passed during the darkest days of California’s budget crisis almost three years ago.

AB 1805, by Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assembly Health Chair Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), is aimed directly at the issue, seeking to restore full funding to Medi-Cal at the estimated cost of about $400 million next year.

Another bill, proposing to tax oil extraction in California, seeks to generate new revenue for the state, some of which could be used to restore funding for Medi-Cal.

SB 1017, by Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), has potential to generate about $2 billion per year for the state. Half the money would go to education, 25% would go to state parks and 25% — about $500 million per year — would go to the state Health and Human Services Agency. Evans said using the money to reduce or reverse the 10% cut to Medi-Cal reimbursements is “exactly the sort of thing we envision.”

Both Long Shots

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