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California Faces More Medical Cuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
California hospitals and other health service providers could be forced to shut down if the state loses 1.9 billion dollars in federal funding. That money comes through a program called the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, or FMAP.

Conservative U.S. Senators are blocking that funding, which helps pay for Medi-Cal. They say the federal deficit must be reduced before more domestic spending is approved.

San Jose Democratic Assemblyman Jim Beall says if Congress fails to fund the program, it would cause massive cuts to health services.
"There would be a huge gaping hole especially in community clinics, public hospitals, emergency rooms," says Beall. "We couldn't plug that hole with appropriations from other areas because there's no money in the budget to play with."
To put pressure on the Congress, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined 30 other Governors in Washington to lobby for the funding. In a lengthy statement, Schwarzenegger says California is being shortchanged by the federal government.

"Yet now," Schwarzenegger says, "They are not giving us money for the services they're requiring us to provide. The federal government cannot have it both ways; it can't require states to preserve certain safety net programs and then cut the funding for those programs when it is needed most."
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