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Rate cut rescinded for state physicians

California lawmakers have rescinded a five percent rate cut for physicians who treat Medi-Cal patients. But doctors complain the Medi-Cal rate is still too low. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Medi-Cal pays doctors less to treat the poor than any other Medicaid program in the country. That's why many California physicians just don't accept Medi-Cal patients.

Dr. Ted Mazer does. But the president of the San Diego County Medical Society says it's a sacrifice.

Mazer: "Basically no matter what I do, I'm paying out of pocket when I see a Medi-Cal beneficiary. In the office, they pay maybe $20 for a Medi-Cal patient to come and see me. It costs more than that just in overhead for me to take care of that patient."

Still, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says California must find a way to curb Medi-Cal spending. He's asking doctors and other healthcare providers to work with him to create some reasonable Medi-Cal reforms.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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