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June 26, 2008

Opposition to Proposed Health Care Cuts Rises in California

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) proposed budget changes to health care programs would increase the number of uninsured residents in California by about one million over the next three years, according to a study released Wednesday by Health Access California, a consumer advocacy group, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The report said the governor's proposed 10% cut to Medi-Cal payments to health care providers and changes to Medi-Cal eligibility rules would create much larger increases in uninsured residents than previous studies have estimated. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 6/26).

The report projects that:

* 471,500 children would lose Medi-Cal coverage over the next three years because of Schwarzenegger's proposal to require eligibility verifications quarterly rather than yearly (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 6/26); an

* 429,000 adults would lose Medi-Cal coverage if the maximum income eligibility level for the program is dropped to 61% of the federal poverty level.

In addition, the California Budget Project estimates that 60,000 children would lose coverage through Healthy Families, California's version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, if premiums are increased. The governor has proposed increasing monthly premiums by:

* 77% for children from households with incomes between 151% and 200% of the poverty level; and
* 27% for children from households with incomes between 201% and 250% of the poverty level.

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Posted by healthinsurance at June 26, 2008 03:32 PM