Friday, 03 August 2007 01:43

State Budget Crisis: Will It Impact Local Senior Services?

slide7As the Golden State heads into yet another month without a ratified state budget the crisis for California's elderly and poor is becoming critical. All Medi-Cal funding will be halted this week to an estimated 500 hospitals throughout the state and 11,000 nursing homes, hospices and adult day care centers. 
Medi-Cal funds have run out because of the state legislator’s inability to find a solution for the month long budget impasse and help is unlikely because slide7both the Senate and the Assembly would have to approve an emergency bailout, and the Assembly has gone on summer recess. Medi-Cal coffers ran dry last week when the state was scheduled to issue $223 million to managed-care providers. Instead, checks for only $143 million were issued.  On Thursday, $227 million was scheduled to be paid to assorted hospitals, clinics and other providers of Medi-Cal services. No money will be paid. "This is the perfect storm," said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance. "In the absence of an enacted budget, we don't have the authority to pay certain vendors." Locally, according to Lori Webb of the Amador Senior Center there are no impacts to the senior services offered through the center. The Senior Center operates on County, grant and private funding, says Webb, and is operated independent of State dollars. Common Ground Senior Services, a provider of meals to seniors is in a similar situation to the senior center. According to Common Ground Administrative Assistant Candace Aubert, there is no impact to our “Meals on Wheels” program, because we will keep running on what we have. This applies to all services administered by Common Ground Senior Services. Aubert emphasizes none of Common Grounds services will be impacted”.