The US has made it mandatory for those enrolled in its Medi-Cal program for the underprivileged to make co-payments for medical services. In doing this early this week, it blocked California from reducing its health care spending.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wrote to the California administration saying it was 'unable to identify the legal and policy support' that would give the state permission to require co-payments to Medi-Cal under the Social Security Act.
This means California will not save the $575 million it had hoped to, on its Medicaid program from the co-payments in its fiscal year beginning on July 1. This is the status quo unless President Obama's administration reverses the decision.
California Governor Jerry Brown had introduced a budget plan last month, in which he projected a $9.2 billion deficit. He had called for a combination of cuts in spending and revenue gathering to provide for a $1.1 billion reserve.