More bad news for uninsured and low-income Californians. California’s budget woes are worse than previously thought, and the fallout will affect the hundreds of thousands of Californians who depend on the state’s community healthcare clinics for free and low-cost healthcare. Despite Governor Schwarzenegger’s assurances that the state’s providers of healthcare to low-income Californians would continue to be paid throughout the state’s budget stalemate, it turns out that the Governator and other state officials were wrong.
It was just June when State Controller John Chiang said all institutional health providers would continue to receive payment because of provisions in the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, but both Schwarzenegger and Chiang have been forced to revise their previous statements on community healthcare clinic funding. Now, it turns out that only hospitals and nursing homes will receive full payment during California’s budget stalemate, and community healthcare clinics, adult day health centers and other health care providers will not receive payment if the state continues to operate without a budget through the summer.
Until a state budget is approved and in place, the state cannot legally pay its bills. Although community healthcare clinics and other California Medicaid providers do have a $2 billion emergency fund that they can draw on, if the California budget stalemate, that emergency fund is not expected to last through August.
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