Boost in Federal Funds for MediCal

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

State Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe says the five year federal waiver will benefit 146 hospitals that principally serve the poor. "It’s an agreement that stabilizes the financing of the state’s safety net hospitals.  It provides opportunities for growth in federal funding, and it supports the transition of Medi-Cal beneficiaries to managed care. "
  But Anthony Wright, who heads the consumer group Health Access California, says the waiver actually freezes federal funds at the current year’s rate.  "Various hospitals have already said that they would, under this waiver for the next five years, they would have to reduce services or, in some cases, close. "
  Wright says the state legislature has already rejected a federal requirement that more Medi-Cal patients be placed under managed care.  Wright also says Governor Schwarzenegger should publicly condemn the Bush administration’s proposed Medicaid cuts.