On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill (AB 96), by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), that would have created a program as an alternative to the adult day health care program that lost funding as part of this year's budget package, the Sacramento Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 7/26).
The 300 ADHC centers provide health care, physical therapy, counseling, socialization and other services for about 37,000 elderly individuals and residents with disabilities.
The state spent about $169 million annually for ADHC services, with additional federal matching funds (Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).
Blumenfield's legislation would have established the Keeping Adults Free from Institutions program (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 7/25).
State funding for the KAFI program would have been capped at $85 million (Tayefe Mohajer, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 7/25).
The program would have focused on patients with the greatest needs (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).
Brown said that while he supports the goal of Blumenfield's bill, "creating a new ADHC look-alike program at this juncture is unnecessary and untimely" (Sacramento Bee, 7/26).
Brown also said the state is working with existing centers to help transition ADHC beneficiaries to other programs to keep them from being institutionalized (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 7/25).
In his veto message, Brown noted that ADHC benefits will be extended until Dec. 1 (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).
Brown Approves Separate Measure
Meanwhile, Brown approved separate legislation (SB 91) to allow ADHC centers to operate without licensing from Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 7/25).
According to Brown, the centers could be folded into HMOs or other health plans and become part of a "continuum of care" (HealthyCal, 7/25).
Advocates for the elderly have warned that the elimination of ADHC funding could increase the state's costs by fivefold. Advocates have argued that without the program, ADHC beneficiaries could end up in emergency departments, nursing facilities and mental health institutions (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).
For additional coverage on Brown's veto of legislation to create the KAFI program, see today's Capitol Desk post.