Sonora, CA — Governor Jerry Brown’s administration acknowledged that costs associated with the Medi-Cal program were off by $1.9-billion last year.
The Associated Press reports that the oversight contributed to the governor’s projection of a deficit in the next budget. The Department of Finance’s spokesperson H.D. Palmer said the agency “deeply regrets” what happened and claimed it was simply an accounting error. The miscalculation was discovered this past fall, but it was first reported to lawmakers this week.
Med-Cal, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, provides medical insurance to approximately 1/3 of California residents. It is a $100-billion program, with about 1/6 of the costs coming from the state’s general fund and the majority covered by the federal government.
Republicans, such as Senator John Moorlach, are criticizing the administration, and pointing out that the miscalculation means less revenue available for other programs like student scholarships and paying down long-term pension liabilities.