Brown’s Budget Would Make Counties Pay More for In-Home Care

As usual, there’s plenty to pick apart in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget. But one item in particular is rankling leaders in counties throughout California.

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.

Among other things, the program shifted responsibility for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) collective bargaining from counties to the state, so its cancellation would shift that burden back onto the local governments.

"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."

The L.A. Times and CalWatchdog have more on how the program’s cancellation would impact California’s counties.