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Lawmakers give initial OK to Medi-Cal expansion

3:09 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State lawmakers have given initial approval to bills that would expand Medicaid to more than 1 million low-income Californians, a critical step to implementing federal health care reforms.  

On mostly party-line votes, Democrats in the Senate and Assembly passed similar measures Thursday to expand the federal-state health program for the poor. The bills will switch houses while lawmakers work with Gov. Jerry Brown, who wants to minimize state costs.  

The expansion, called Medi-Cal in California, takes advantage of generous funding from the Obama administration to add those who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $15,400 for an individual.  

Most Republicans opposed the bills by Assembly Speaker John Perez and Sen. Ed Hernandez, SBx1-1 and ABx1-1. They fear the expansion's cost once federal funding is reduced.

The Associated Press

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