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State to cut Medi-Cal adult day care services on Dec. 1

October 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A tough pill to swallow for thousands of California's Medi-Cal patients: A month from now, they're going to lose their adult day health care benefits. It's more fallout from the state's massive budget deficit.

Hundreds rallied in downtown L.A. Monday afternoon to stand up for those who in many cases are too frail to stand up themselves.

On December 1, the state is set to eliminate adult day health care benefits for Medi-Cal patients, affecting patients with Alzheimer's disease, heart conditions and other developmental disabilities who can't treat themselves or don't have family to care for them during the day.

"Many, many of the individuals that attend adult day health care centers, receive their daily care in adult day health care centers, will be forced to be placed into nursing homes," said Berdj Karapetian, Victory Adult Day Care Center.

The California Association for Adult Day Services reports that in L.A. County approximately 22,000 seniors and disabled individuals will be affected by the state's decision to close these centers.

A statement from the Dept. of Health Care Services explains why the program is being cut.

"The state is faced with an unprecedented budget shortfall. Medi-Cal, as California's second-largest general fund expenditure, must be a part of the solution. The ADHC benefit is an optional program under Medicaid rules, making it one of the few ways the state can seek savings in the program."

However, critics are demanding another way, delivering a petition to the governor's L.A. office Monday afternoon with 10,000 signatures on it.

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