By David Gorn, California Healthline
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to codify Community Based Adult Services as a Medi-Cal benefit and continue offering it as a benefit into the future.
The state has attempted to eliminate adult day health care in the past. The CBAS program, serving some of the oldest, most frail Californians on Medi-Cal, is the result of a 2011 settlement of a lawsuit challenging the state the last time the state tried to cut the program.
The veto Monday of AB1552 by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) leaves an uncertain future for CBAS. The agreement in the 2011 settlement expired at the end of August, but CBAS is included as a Medi-Cal benefit in a proposed amendment of the state's Medicaid waiver and is included in the Coordinated Care Intitiative. CMS is expected to approve the amendment by the end of this month.
"It seems like the governor is picking at a scab," said Gary Passmore, vice president at the California Congress of Seniors. "CBAS exists as a settlement, and we tried to establish that in law. And here we are again. … Without it existing in statute, it puts everything up for grabs. It's a real step backward."