Doctors Decry Medi-Cal Cuts
One of the many things on the chopping block in the Governor’s budget is Medi-Cal – the state’s low income health care program. And doctors and hospitals are lobbying hard for lawmakers to reject the idea
Monday, January 21, 2008
Doctor Anda (ON-duh)Kuo (kwo) recently spent a day at the State Capitol, asking lawmakers not to slash Medi-Cal rates. She’s a pediatrician at the UC San Francisco Medical Center – and says a cut might help the state budget now – but the effect would cost later:
“Patients with complicated conditions can’t get into a specialist and have to come to the emergency room and we all know that that’s not cost effective.”
The Governor’s budget plan includes a cut of roughly one billion dollars to the program – that includes reducing the reimbursement rates for physicians. Kuo says that makes it hard to recruit and retain good specialists. Schwarzenegger has said cuts across the board are the fair way to fill the state’s projected 14 billion dollar budget gap. However, the health care package that he and the Democratic Assembly Speaker have worked out includes an increase to medi-cal reimbursement rates.