June 26th, 2012, 5:15 pm
Posted by BRIAN JOSEPH, Sacramento Correspondent
More legislative shenanigans appear to be in the works as state lawmakers prepare to vote on the final pieces of the state budget Wednesday.
One newly introduced budget trailer bill would create a statewide authority to negotiate union agreements for In-Home Supportive Services workers. The IHSS program is managed at the county level, where collective bargaining agreements are currently negotiated.
This new proposal, pushed by the Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, would take collective bargaining power away from the individual jurisdictions that actually run IHSS and give it to officials in Sacramento, the seat of union power.
Watch for this bill to be controversial with some moderate Democrats.
Another trailer bill raising eyebrows deals with Californians who qualify for both Medi-Cal and Medicare, which we wrote about earlier on the OC Watchdog blog. This bill would enroll so called “dual eligible” Californians in Orange and seven other counties into managed care plans, to save the state money on their health care.
Some California doctors have been concerned that this proposal would force them to accept low fees for their services, but the initial, proposed language of the bill tempered some fears. Initially, the bill said that doctors would be paid “according to the prevailing Medicare fee schedule” and would receive “the full Medi-Cal rates for Medi-Cal benefits.” From the doctors’ perspective that’s not so bad.
Recently, however, the language was changed to say that the state would “pay providers reimbursement rates sufficient to maintain an adequate provider network and ensure access to care for beneficiaries.” This new language has doctors very worried that they’re going to be forced to take peanuts for their services.
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