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Broad Coalition Calls for Reversal of Looming Medi-Cal Cuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, April 25, 2013


Medical groups, insurers, physicians and a union support a bill to reverse a 10 percent cut to provider rates in a state budget from two years ago.

They say payments in Medi-Cal are already barebones, and the program needs strong footing to accept more people under the Affordable Care Act next year.

"It's already hard enough for medical providers, responders, community clinics to service this unique population because we're critically underfunding the Medi-Cal reimbursements," says Democratic State Senator Ricardo Lara, who is carrying a bill to reverse Governor Brown's administration's savings measure. 

"Folks are still treating Medi-Cal patients and it's really a labor of love," adds Lara.   

Lara's measure has bi-partisan support in both houses of the legislature. Republican Assemblymember Brian Maienshein says the state's budget picture has improved.
"I think that this is the appropriate time to start restoring some of those cuts," says Maienshein. 
"Anytime you're cutting health care, sometimes those costs and expenses show up in other areas," he adds.
The Brown Administration says the Medi-Cal cuts will save more than a half a billion dollars in the coming year.
H.D Palmer with the California Department of Finance says any surplus the state has now may not exist next year, and would go in part to education. 

"We have to be very prudent in terms of what we're doing with the budget, and we can't unwind or undo a lot of the reductions that we've done in the past if we're going to stay in balance," says Palmer.   

The Medi-Cal savings measure has been help up in courts, but could take effect as early as June.
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