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State Budget Cuts Could Affect Medi-Cal

— Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing state lawmakers to approve budget cuts before his term ends in January.

Some 7 million Medi-Cal recipients -- including children -- could experience limited access to doctors, along with reductions to the number of prescriptions paid for by the state health program.

Governor Schwarzenegger is also proposing increasing the total co-pay for Medi-Cal patients and barring newly eligible immigrants from participate in the program. He says it will help the state save $7.5 billion. But Anthony Wright, with the lobbying group Health Access, said it will cripple the state’s health safety net.

“They are literally limiting the drugs, the access to doctors for millions of Californians, often times low income seniors and people with disabilities that need this critical care,” Wright said.

Almost 60 percent of California’s children are on state-run health care and several Democratic lawmakers say they will not consider reducing those services.

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