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More Money For Medi-Cal, But Doctors’ Pay Cut Remains

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The governor wants to give more money to the Medi-Cal program, but shows no indication he plans to rescind a 10 percent pay cut to doctors and other providers.

Aired 5/20/14 on KPBS News.

California Governor Jerry Brown's new budget calls for $1.2 billion in new Medi-Cal spending, but doesn't rescind a 10 percent pay cut to doctors and other providers.

Thanks to Obamacare, more than 2 million additional Californians have signed up for Medi-Cal since last October.

But it can be tough to find a doctor willing to treat them. That’s because the state cut the Medi-Cal pay rate by 10 percent, when California was in the depths of the recession.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit Health Access California. He thinks state lawmakers need to rescind the cut.

“Rates were not great before this cut. California was already something like 49th in the nation in terms of how much it pays providers," Wright explained. "But an additional 10 percent cut is not the right thing to do when we’re also trying to expand the program.”

By the end of next year, it’s predicted that nearly one out of three Californians will be enrolled in Medi-Cal.

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget calls for $1.2 billion in additional Medi-Cal spending.

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