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Jewish Journal

Lawmaker Sees Plan to Cut Funds Failing

by Marc Ballon

April 30, 2003 | 8:00 pm

State Assemblyman Lloyd E. Levine (D-Van Nuys), 33, sits on the influential Assembly Budget Committee. He recently spoke with The Jewish Journal about the possible impacts of Gov. Gray Davis' proposed 15 percent cut in Medi-Cal reimbursements.

Jewish Journal: What pain would the 15 percent cuts cause?

Lloyd Levine: I don't want to sugarcoat things. They would have a severe impact on the people of California. There would be less nurses in hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities. People who live at home but receive in-home assistance could end up in nursing homes.

J.J.: Do you think the Legislature will approve the proposed reductions?

L.L.: I don't think so. You've seen too many in the Legislature attack it. I personally oppose 15 percent across-the-board cuts in Medi-Cal. I think we should go through the budget line by line and see where we could make savings. With dental care, for instance, maybe we could go back to metal fillings, which are just as safe but less expensive than ceramic fillings.

J.J.: You've been an advocate for adult day health care. Why?

L.L.: I think programs like those run by Jewish Family Service do an excellent job. I've been out to those centers and have seen what a great job they're doing.

I am speaking up and trying to prevent any of them from closing. I'm talking to the Budget Committee. I'm talking to the Democratic Caucus. I'm not alone. All of my Democratic colleagues are in step with this.

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