Gov. Jerry Brown last week issued a proclamation to convene a special legislative session on health care spending on the same day he agreed to a state budget that had many of its health-related provisions negotiated away.
Financing the Medi-Cal program may not be sustainable, Brown said, given its expansion over the past two years and the looming loss of the managed care organization tax, which could cost the state about $1.1 billion.
Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people, covers about 12.3 million Californians, slightly under one-third of the population of California. More than half of the state's children are Medi-Cal kids.
The budget agreement includes $40 million for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented children, with limited funding to possibly include some undocumented adults.
That program was significantly trimmed from its original "Health for All" intent to cover all of the state's remaining uninsured.
The new budget agreement nixed restoration of a 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate reduction from 2011, though $30 million was included to restore the cut in Medi-Cal provider rates for dentists. It also jettisoned the idea of removing a cap on welfare payments for new mothers.