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Doctors Say Governor’s Proposed Budget Cuts Would Hurt Health Reform

Audio

Aired 8/26/10

Some statewide doctor groups say Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget threatens to undermine the new health reform law. Physicians are especially concerned about the governor's proposed cuts to the Medi-Cal program.

— Some statewide doctor groups say Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget threatens to undermine the new health reform law. Physicians are especially concerned about the governor's proposed cuts to the Medi-Cal program.

The governor wants to cut Medi-Cal spending by giving patients a maximum of 10 doctor visits a year. He also wants to limit Medi-Cal patients to no more than six prescription drugs a month.

Dr. Casey Kirk is a member of the California National Physicians Alliance. He works at the Saban Free Clinic in Los Angeles.

"Most of my patients, three-quarters, are on double digits of medications," Kirk says. "To ask them to pick and choose the ones that are the most valuable is an impossible request, and it is for me."

The new health reform law allots more money to community clinics in order to beef up primary care. Kirk says the governor's proposed cuts would subvert that effort.

The governor says the cuts are necessary to balance the state budget.

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