State's Budget Stalemate Might Cut Off Funds for Health Clinics

Health clinics that serve low-income California residents might stop receiving payment unless lawmakers implement a new budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In June, Controller John Chiang (D) said all institutional health providers would continue to receive payment because of provisions in the 2009 federal economic stimulus package. However, state officials now say that only hospitals and nursing homes will receive full payment during the budget stalemate.

Norman Williams, spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services, said health 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.

He added that some clinics and health care providers who receive Medi-Cal reimbursements can draw for a limited time from an emergency treasury of $2 billion. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

However, Williams noted that the fund is not expected to last through August.

Error Correction

Chiang and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration have acknowledged the previous error.

Garin Casaleggio, spokesperson for Chiang, said the Controller's website has been updated to reflect the new, correct information (Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times, 7/14).


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