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State proposes to cut MediCal reimbursements

In a room at Bruceville Terrace, a skilled nursing home in South Sacramento, 80-year-old Paul Smilanich sits with his daughter, Jane. Smilanich responds to Jane’s statements. “Car wreck,” she says, repeating it several times, but unable to form complete sentences or be part of a conversation.

Here, Jane, 46, is the patient. Paul is the doting father who has been at her bedside since she was in a car accident that injured her brain stem. That was 22 years ago. “Yes, car wreck,” he agrees, smiling and caressing his daughter’s head. Smilanich said his own advanced age has him hoping that Jane’s condition will improve enough that she could be admitted to a group home or assisted-living facility someday, but his family is among thousands across California who say they are unsure about the future of their care because of a state proposal to cut MediCal reimbursements to facilities such as Bruceville Terrace.