Doctors, Clinics, Hospitals Rally to Stop More Health Budget Cuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 21, 2008

The federal judge’s ruling overturned the state’s move earlier this year to cut doctors’ payment rates who treat Medi-Cal patients by 10 percent. Providers say it’s a critical step.

But, Anthony Wright with the consumer advocacy group Health Access says there are more proposed cuts in the current budget negotiations.

“Let me be clear, these impacts that we’re seeing, a million people uninsured, increased premiums, lost jobs are all things that would happen with the cuts that are on the table even if the court decision stands that prevents the provider rate cuts.” 

Wright says on top of potential cuts the late budget is hurting providers now. It’s almost two months late and community clinics, adult day health care centers and some hospitals are not getting paid. That’s because without a state spending plan in place Medi-Cal funds have run out.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s office says the state will appeal the federal court ruling halting the doctors’ payment rate cuts. His spokesperson says cutting health services is difficult but necessary to balance the state’s 15 billion dollar budget shortfall.