ADAPT's Call to Action for Home and Community in America

Common People Holding Our Government Accountable for Enforcing Our Rights

Thursday, March 4, 2010

California Court Says No to Reduced Home Care Worker Wages

Court rules against Calif. social, medical cuts
By JUDY LIN Associated Press Writer
Posted: 03/03/2010 04:32:04 PM PST
Updated: 03/03/2010 06:09:16 PM PST

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers will have to find more ways to trim spending after an appeals court on Wednesday shot down two budget cuts made in recent years.

In separate cases before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, two judges ruled against the state's plans to cut spending in certain social and health care programs.

One was to reduce the state's contribution to the wages of home care workers by $2 an hour, from a maximum of $12.10 an hour to $10.10. The other was to cut Medicaid payments by 5 percent to pharmacists, hospitals and adult day care providers.

Finance Department officials estimated the state could be saving $79 million in the current fiscal year through June from reduced home care worker wages. At the same time, the state could be saving another $117 million from reduced Medicaid provider payments. California calls its Medicaid program, Medi-Cal.

Union representatives and home care workers said Wednesday's rulings help protect the state's most vulnerable. The groups argued that the state made cuts without studying the impact on the quality of care.

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