Wary of cost, Brown commits state to health reform - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Wary of cost, Brown commits state to health reform

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says he is firmly committed to making national health care reform work in California, but he also is wary of the potential costs.

In his budget released last week, Brown pledges to be a reliable partner in implementing the Affordable Care Act by expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income Californians. Yet he says he wants to move cautiously so the state can run a sustainable program that will not burden taxpayers.

The governor is concerned because the program already consumes 20 percent of California's $97.6 billion general fund. He set aside $350 million in his budget, but a top aide says the true cost is not known.

Known as Medi-Cal in California, Medicaid already serves about 8 million adults and children, nearly one out of every five residents.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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