WASHINGTON - As he lobbied the Obama administration for four days for authorization to enact further cuts to Medi-Cal to help balance California's budget, Gov. Jerry Brown talked frequently about his frustration, the administration having recently turned down his request to charge co-payments for doctor visits, prescription drugs and other services.
After meetings this afternoon with Obama advisers at the White House and, later, with members of California's Congressional delegation at the U.S. Capitol, Brown aide Nancy McFadden suggested he stop.
"There are possibilities that are being examined that will enable California to more tightly manage its Medi-Cal program, and some of that involves co-payments," the Democratic governor was telling reporters.
"But if you talk too much about it, you might hurt your negotiations," McFadden said.
"Yeah, and it involves other things," Brown said. "Those things are under active discussion."
He said he learned today that there are "some possibilities, because the law is complicated, and I think there may be room to accommodate some of the things we're looking for."
Brown met for about an hour with members of California's congressional delegation, discussing a wide range of issues, including immigration reform, transportation and Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes, Brown and delegation members said.
"Just giving them an update on California," Brown said, "telling them about, you know, our tax initiative and other things like that."
Asked for the news from the meeting, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said, "It was a remarkable difference from the last meeting with (Gov. Arnold) Schwarzenegger.
"Schwarzenegger was an hour and a half late, and most people sat around and then they left after an hour and he came into an empty room," Garamendi said. "The governor was on time, and very forthcoming on ... maybe 20 different issues."