California Healthline: Health Care Battles Focus on What’s Left Out of Budget, Not What’s in It

by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau

When the California budget was approved four hours before the midnight deadline Sunday, there was relatively little debate, no close votes and much congratulation and self-congratulation.

Before the final hours however, there was less of the “kumbaya” accord among legislators and the governor. As it became clear that several health care issues would take a bit of a beating in this budget, the rancor grew thick.

Both houses had crafted bipartisan legislation to restore a Medi-Cal provider rate that had been cut during the 2011 budget crisis. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. Both plans failed to remain in the budget. There also were proposals to restore public health programs, to reverse a reduction in In-Home Supportive Services hours, to make a type of autism therapy a Medi-Cal benefit. All were tabled.

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