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Federal Stimulus Money Comes With A Catch


Aired 4/20/09


California is eligible for some ten-billion dollars in federal stimulus money to help provide healthcare for the poor. But in order to get it, the state must take away a restriction it passed last fall on Medi-Cal eligibility. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.


The restriction requires the parents of children on Medi-Cal to prove their kids' eligibility twice a year, instead of just once.


Under federal law, state can't get stimulus money if they have healthcare regulations that are more restrictive than those in effect last July.


Anthony Wright heads up the non-profit group Health Access California. He says state lawmakers must eliminate the Medi-Cal rule.


"It's not good policy, we shouldn't have done it in the first place, " Wright says. "This provides us a rationale to remove this from the books."


Republican lawmakers say they want to suspend the restriction. State officials say that's probably not good enough. Democrats hope to get enough support to change the law.


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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