By Anthony York
2:03 PM PST, February 19, 2013
SACRAMENTO -- As an Assembly panel holds its first hearing on a proposal to authorize massive expansion of the state’s public insurance program for the poor, it has a few changes to consider from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.
Sixty-three pages worth, to be exact.
The administration submitted a laundry list of proposed changes to Speaker John A. Perez’s bill to expand eligibility for Medi-Cal, the state’s public insurance program for the poor. Among them is language that stipulates the state will only expand its coverage if the federal government makes good on its promise to pick up most of the costs.
Currently, only parents, children and seniors at or below the federal poverty level are eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. The state shares the costs of that coverage with the federal government.
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, states have the option of expanding coverage to anyone below 138% of the federal poverty line.
UC Berkeley researcher Ken Jacobs has predicted that more than 1 million additional people will enroll in Medi-Cal by 2019.
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