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The Democratic proposal to draw more federal money to California by raising the income and car taxes while lowering the sales tax has received a lot of ink this week. But a smaller and possibly less controversial idea to draw down more federal money to stave off cuts in home care for the elderly and disabled is also moving forward, with little fanfare.
A federal appeals court has once again blocked California from reducing payments to doctors and hospitals that care for the poor under the state’s Medi-Cal program, finding that the Legislature did not sufficiently study the impact of the cuts before enacting them. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also rejected the state’s attempt to cut reimbursements for the wages of in-home care workers by nearly 20 percent.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for the coming year has serious implications for California’s low-income seniors.
According to a recent analysis by the UCLA Center for Health Policy, the proposal would dismantle California’s home- and community-based long-term care system. Full implementation of the proposed cuts would likely leave frail, low-income seniors – among the state’s most vulnerable residents – without needed support.
The fastest-growing major social program in state government — In-Home Supportive Services — does not save the state and county governments more than it costs by keeping people out of nursing homes, the Legislative Analyst concludes in a new report. The LAO recommends an overhaul that would focus the in-home services on those who are most likely to end up in institutions without the assistance in their homes.