California Budget Triggers Concerns About Health Care Safety Net
The shift of patients from the state's Healthy Families program into Medi-Cal has caused questions from some health advocates.
Sacramento Bee: Democrats Still Trying To Secure Support For California Budget
Since taking office, (Gov. Jerry) Brown has sought to eliminate Healthy Families, which provides low-cost care to 880,000 children in working poor households that lack health insurance. Brown has argued that all publicly insured patients should be in Medi-Cal as matter of efficiency and to eliminate the challenges patients face when switching between Medi-Cal and Healthy Families as their family income fluctuates. But health advocates who say Healthy Families works well and affords better care than Medi-Cal have begun mobilizing against Brown's demand to move those 880,000 children out of Healthy Families. Behind closed doors, Brown officials and Democratic lawmakers are trying to appease health care interests caught off guard by the elimination altogether of Healthy Families after they presumed the state would only shift about 190,000 of those children (Yamamura, 6/23).
Sacramento Bee: California Budget Deal Includes Exception For Kaiser Permanente
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders are crafting an exception for Kaiser Permanente as they prepare to move 880,000 Healthy Families patients to lower-cost Medi-Cal as part of their budget agreement. The provision would enable Oakland-based Kaiser to keep its 200,000 Healthy Families patients as Medi-Cal clients through a special contract with the state, according to Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas. It would also allow Kaiser to avoid paying fees to county-based health plans that are typically required under Medi-Cal (Yamamura, 6/23).