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Critics of Governor's Health Plan Say Cuts Would Hurt Medi-Cal

The governor has made expanding health care for the poor one of his top priorities. But critics say his proposed budget cuts to the Medi-Cal program would actually reduce access. KPBS reporter Kenny G

Critics of Governor's Health Plan Say Cuts Would Hurt Medi-Cal

The governor has made expanding health care for the poor one of his top priorities. But critics say his proposed budget cuts to the Medi-Cal program would actually reduce access. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The governor wants to cut more than a billion dollars from the Medi-Cal program. He wants to eliminate a number of benefits, too, including dental care for adults. The governor is also proposing a ten percent cut in Medi-Cal provider rates.

Dr. Ted Maser is an ear, nose, and throat specialist in San Diego. He says the rates are already so low, he loses money on Medi-Cal patients.

Maser : There's a limit to how much of that I can do. I'm already overwhelmed with it because so many other doctors have stopped in my specialty. And if these cuts go through, I'm going to have to close my door to new Medi-Cal as well.

The governor says the budget crisis bolsters his argument that California needs to pass healthcare reform. He says his reform plan would provide more money for doctors and hospitals.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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