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Medi-Cal Patients Will Feel The Pain From State Budget Cuts

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Aired 3/18/11

The California Legislature has approved deep cuts to the Medi-Cal program to help balance the state budget. People on Medi-Cal will feel the pain.

— The California Legislature has approved deep cuts to the Medi-Cal program to help balance the state budget. People on Medi-Cal will feel the pain.

Medi-Cal recipients will face higher co-payments for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital stays.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit Health Access California. He said what's more, people on Medi-Cal will be limited to seven doctor visits a year.

"This is yet another administrative barrier for people," Wright said, "including people with chronic conditions, people with ongoing medical needs, to be able to get the care that they need."

Lawmakers also decided to cut by 10 percent the rate Medi-Cal pays health-care providers. Doctors complain the rate is already one of the lowest of any Medicaid program in the country.

Wright said there could be more cuts if a measure to extend temporary tax increases isn't placed on the June ballot and approved.

More than 423,000 San Diegans receive Medi-Cal benefits. The program provides care to some 7.7 million people statewide.

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