California Budget Passes

Last Sunday evening, the legislature came to an agreement and passed the state budget only hours before the constitutional deadline.  The Governor is expected to sign the budget today.

The budget includes $437 million to support Medi-Cal expansion under the federal health reform, expands eligibility for pregnant women to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, and requires coverage of behavioral health treatments for children. However, it neglected to restore the devastating 10% Medi-Cal rate cuts experienced by providers.  Learn more about how the budget will affect Medi-Cal rates here.

Additional health related issues addressed in the budget include:

  • $4 million to restore the Black Infant Health Program;
  • $3 million for new HIV prevention projects;
  • $1 million to establish a 3-year mobile vision services pilot program for children in schools in Los Angeles;
  • $26 million for the Office of AIDS to add Hepatitis C drugs to the ADAP formulary, and cover out-of-pocket costs for other AIDS patients;
  • $3.2 million to ensure agricultural workers’ health plans cover catastrophic care;
  • establishes a State Dental Director and a statewide dental health program;
  • reforms the Office of Patient Advocate, including data collection systems for health complaints and how they are resolved;
  • establishes a new payment structure for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital to allow it to reopen in 2015.

More information on the state budget can be found here.

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