California reaches agreement on in-home care suits

Fewer cuts agreed upon to prevent several lawsuits blocking recent budget cuts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California health care officials have agreed to make fewer cuts than planned from in-home care programs as part of deal to get a group of seniors, disabled people and their caregivers to drop several lawsuits blocking recent budget cuts.
The Department of Social Services and the Department of Health Care Services announced the agreement Tuesday that still needs court approval.  Labor leaders are calling it a fair settlement that they say will provide stable benefits for in-home caregivers and the people they care for.
The legal fight stems back to 2009 when the Schwarzenegger administration initiated the first round of cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services program, which serves about 440,000 low-income residents.  
As part of the deal, beginning in July, the state will increase service cuts from 3.6 percent to 8 percent. But the cuts won't go as far as a 20-percent reduction the state had previously approved.

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