California counties will get stuck with a $622-million bill as the governor cancels a healthcare pilot program  

by Placerville Newswire / Jan 12, 2017 / comments

BY John Myers (Los Angeles Times)-- County officials across the state on Tuesday criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's move to cancel a program that attempted to streamline health services for seniors and low-income families, a decision that will hit locals with a $622.6-million price tag beginning this summer.

The plan, unveiled as part of Brown's state budget , seeks to cancel a 2012 program called the Coordinated Care Initiative. The effort allowed Medi-Cal, Medicare and the state's in-home support services to be offered through a single delivery system in hopes of reducing costs.

But the program required a finding by the governor's finance officials that it was cost-effective, which Brown's new budget said did not turn out to be the case.

A key part of the program was that the state, not locals, bargained with labor unions over wages for in-home care workers. The budget proposal cancels the state's role in those wage negotiations and also shifts other costs back to counties.

"This would be devastating to counties all over the state," said Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, president of the California State Assn. of Counties executive committee. "We undoubtedly would have to make cuts in other vital social services to cover these costs."