- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2012

D.C. Council member David A. Catania announced his Committee on Health has found $20 million to restore hospital and specialty funding to about 20,000 city residents — almost all of them immigrants — who are not eligible for Medicaid.

The Committee on Health chaired by Mr. Catania, at-large independent, passed up a fiscal 2013 agency budget to the full council on Thursday that fully restores the benefits for members of the D.C. Healthcare Alliance.

Mr. Catania strongly objected to the cut contained in Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s budget proposal and made it his No. 1 priority in discussions on both the upcoming budget and mid-year spending plan for fiscal 2012.

“I committed to ensuring that we would not turn back the clock on caring for one of our most vulnerable populations and through this proposed budget we will fulfill that commitment,” Mr. Catania said.

His office said the committee identified $20.5 million in additional revenue and internal savings in the Department of Healthcare Finance to support the move, primarily by correcting enrollment estimates in Medicaid and Alliance program that amount to $9 million.

Additional money was generated from funding transfers among or within agencies, savings from Medicaid pharmacy rebates and $1.4 million in dedicated taxes that the chief financial officer certified as available local funds.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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