Calif. Budget Agreement Seeks Balance, But Leaves Off Some Health Care Items

A budget agreement in California between lawmakers and Governor Jerry Brown seeks to strike a balance between spending restraint and providing more health care for the needy, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the agreement lacks several health care line items lawmakers bandied about in recent weeks -- including repeal of a 10 percent provider cut to Medi-Cal.

Los Angeles Times: California Budget Accord Balances Restraint, Social Services
The budget deal that lawmakers will vote on this week is an effort to mesh financial restraint with a desire to provide more social services and health care for the needy -- giving the state's economy extra time to recover before some of the spending kicks in (Megerian and York, 6/11).

The Wall Street Journal: Brown Set For Victory In California Budget Fight
When Mr. Brown issued his budget plan in May, he called Sacramento "a big spending machine" and said he was prepared for a fight with the legislature. … Later that month, after an independent state analyst unveiled a 2014 revenue forecast higher than the governor had projected, legislators pursued their own budget proposals, with higher spending based on the analyst's forecast. Democrats in the state Senate proposed spending $98.2 billion, including increases in mental-health programs and in dental care for low-income Californians. Democrats in the assembly proposed spending $98.3 billion. But as the deadline for budget passage approached, they accepted Mr. Brown's more-cautious spending plan (Vara, 6/11).

California Healthline: Autism Therapy Out Of The Budget
Several health care provisions were conspicuously absent from the Legislative Budget Conference Committee's budget agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown announced yesterday. The plan has no mention of repealing a 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate cut nor a plan to fund autism services. The agreement omitted a proposal to set aside $50 million in general fund money to pay for autism services. When matched with federal dollars, the state would have had $100 million to help pay for autism treatment, including applied behavioral analysis therapy, known as ABA therapy (Gorn, 6/11).

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