By Daniel Weintraub
The Legislature has finally sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill passed as part of the budget package a month ago that is meant to save health services for older adults.
The measure, AB 96, creates a new program to replace Adult Day Health Care, which was eliminated in the budget.
Brown, with some reluctance, did approve $85 million that was in the budget for services for low-income seniors who will be moved out of the Day Health Care Program. But he made it clear that he wanted the money — which was half of the former program’s budget — to be used as a transition to other services and not to begin a new, ongoing program.
That left clients, providers and advocates uncertain about what would become of the centers around the state that provide health services to the elder population.
AB 96 would create a program called Keeping Adults Free from Institutions, or KAFI. The program would focus on the most fragile seniors, who without the care would be at high risk of being forced into a nursing home. The bill requires the Brown Administration to seek federal approval and funding for the program by Sept. 1.
The California Association for Adult Day Services, which represents centers serving 37,000 clients, called on Brown to sign the bill.