Gov. Brown proposes deep healthcare cuts for California

California Gov. Jerry Brown has wasted little time in trying to slash the state's healthcare budget. He's proposing just a week after his inauguration to reduce spending by $1.7 billion, according to California Watch.

The cuts to Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, would include the elimination of adult day care, which is intended to save $177 million. Cost-sharing proposals are meant to save $557 million and spending caps about $234 million.

Among the proposals are a $50 co-pay for emergency room visits; $100 a day for each hospital stay; and $5 charges for physician and clinic visits, as well as prescriptions. Medi-Cal enrollees would be limited to see a doctor 10 times a year, and could only have six prescriptions per month.

Spending caps would also be imposed on medical devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and adult diapers.

Brown acknowledged that the proposed cuts would hit California's poorest citizens. "These are not affluent people," he said. "It's very difficult, but that's where we are."

Brown's proposals are in many ways identical to proposals made by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the final days of his turn, but were rejected out of hand by the state Legislature, which did not take any action.

For more:
- read the California Watch article
- read Gov. Brown's press release