Balancing California's budget by cutting essential services to disableds and seniors
Melissa Kaplan, 12/1/2003
Over the past year, the state Assembly and Governor have been using Medi-Cal cuts to help reduce the deficit. Among other things, this has resulted more TARS being required as pharmacists are no longer permitted to dispense a full month's supply of many drugs, forcing Medi-Cal recipients to use up their allotted six prescriptions a month to getting their artificially split prescriptions refilled. This is being done on maintenance medication, such as thyroid medicine, as well as on medications prescribed for acute and short-term conditions.
Most recently, In-Home Support Services (IHSS) has been cut. Now, any Medi-Cal recipient who lives with a spouse, child or parent will no longer eligible for IHSS services. This applies even to those Medi-Cal recipients whose spouse, child or parent is incapable of providing adequate care, either because they themselves are too ill, or because they are forced to work overtime, or at more than one job, in the effort of trying to make ends meet.
For those who are still eligible for IHSS, IHSS will no longer be allowed to pay for caregiver hours allocated to cooking, shopping, or housecleaning of any kind.
You can call the Governor's office and let them know what you think. Call the toll free number, 888-780-9275, and press 8 in response to the voicemail instructions. If you would rather write (or fax) the Governor:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Don't stop there - let your other elected representatives know how you feel about this. The following are the state assembly and senate members from the central Sonoma County area. To find your assemblyman and senator, go to www.assembly.ca.gov and follow the Find My District link.
Most state and federal congressional representatives have switched to using form-based email that you can only access through their websites. If no actual email address is indicated below for a senator or assemblyman, you will need to go to the individual's website to send a web-based email.
For complaints about the planned cuts to Medicare in 2004, as well as about Sonoma County still classified as a rural county, and so subject to lower reimbursement rates than urban counties (such as the rest of the Bay Area), contact:
This article is available in PDF format...
Family caregivers may become ineligible for state payroll (Press Democrat 04/06/2004)
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