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Obama Administration Approves $10 Billion Medi-Cal Waiver

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The federal government today approved California's five-year, $10 billion Medi-Cal Section 1115 waiver proposal that will fund key coverage initiatives for low income Californians and better coordinated care for Medi-Cal recipients.

California's current waiver expires this month and the state has been negotiating a new waiver to fund a variety of health care initiatives that will better position the state and its safety net providers to care for the significant number of Californians that will become eligible for Medi-Cal and the California Health Benefit Exchange in 2014.

California recently enacted bipartisan urgency legislation, subject to the final federal approval gained today, that implements the provisions of the new waiver in AB 342 (J. Pérez) and SB 208 (Steinberg).

"I want to thank the Obama Administration for its incredible commitment to California and bipartisan cooperation," Pérez said. "Not only is this the largest Medicaid waiver ever approved, it invests in our state and our counties and helps vulnerable Californians gain access to better, more coordinated care. I also want to thank the members of our Congressional delegation that have supported this effort over the last year. They have truly made a difference."

The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has broad authority to "waive" federal Medicaid law to fund state demonstration projects that will improve the state's Medicaid programs and services to low income and disabled people.


California will receive approximately $10 billion in federal funds to invest in the health delivery system and support the state's preparation for and transition to the requirements of federal health care reform. These investments are also designed to help slow the rate of growth in health care costs within the Medi-Cal program.

$3.3 billion for investments in California's public hospitals.

$2.9 billion over the next four years for county based coverage for low-income individuals who will become eligible for full Medi-Cal in 2014.

$3.9 billion for uncompensated care costs to safety net hospitals and the state.

Generates over $2.5 billion in General Fund savings over the five year term of the waiver.

Website of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker

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