Brown Rejects Bill To Establish Replacement Program for ADHC

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).

Legislation Details

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).

Veto Details

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' Response

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.

Diane Puckett
Dedicated families caring for loved ones at home can't do it alone. By vetoing this bill, Brown is eliminating skilled medical care -- nursing, therapies, nutritional services -- the part of the care that families can't provide. There are no other resources for this skilled daily health care. The result is families struggling alone with trying to meet complex medical needs for loved ones, such as handling up to 24 different medications, diabetic and cardiac emergencies, and difficult transfers.Families need and deserve the very cost effective help with these huge challenges that has been provided by the state's dedicated adult day health care programs. The governor's suggestion that ADHC can be folded into managed care options in future does nothing for families and ADHC participants today, or for a long time to come.

to share your thoughts on this article.