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Medi-Cal expansion could hit Calif. budget

Posted: December 20, 2012 2:57 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2012 2:57 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference in Sacramento on Nov. 7. On Thursday he said he is wary of expanding Medi-Cal as the state implements federal health reform.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says he is wary of expanding Medi-Cal as the state implements federal health reform because it could put California's budget "right out of whack" by adding up to $4 billion a year in costs.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Brown said his administration is seeking federal waivers for some of the proposed expansions, which could add more than a million people to the 7.7 million already served under California's version of Medicaid.

The Democratic governor said he is concerned that negotiations in Washington could hit the state budget hard "by loading billions of dollars of new and unexpected costs."

States must commit to fully expanding coverage for people who make up to about $15,400 a year in order to tap more generous funding.

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