Thousands Converge on Capitol to Protest Medi-Cal Cuts in 'We Care for California' Really - Further Action Required

 

In what is being called the largest health care rally ever held at the California State Capitol, an unprecedented coalition of doctors, nurses and other health care providers, as well as hospitals, insurers and Medi-Cal patients - approximately 8,000 strong - flocked to Sacramento on Tuesday, June 4 to protest the 10 percent cuts to the Medi-Cal program set to take effect on July 1.

With a little over 10 days left for the legislature to solidify the California budget, the rally sent an important message to the legislature: Every Californian will suffer if the $1 billion in health care cuts are allowed to take effect.

Dozens of legislators joined Assembly Health Committee Chair Dr. Richard Pan in signing a pledge to reverse the Medi-Cal cuts.

The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last month denied a request for a full court review in the case to stop the state from implementing the 10 percent cut included in the 2011-2012 state budget. This most recent action clears the way for the state to implement the cuts.

Despite California's improved budget outlook, Governor Brown's budget includes roughly $1 billion per year in Medi-Cal provider rate cuts. If the state moves forward with these cuts, access to care will be devastated, not only for existing Medi-Cal patients, but also and the millions of patients that will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

CPMA is currently supporting SB 640 (Lara), which would not only prevent implementation of the cuts, but would also stop the state from back-dating cuts to 2011 and requiring providers to reimburse the state.

CPMA is urging all members to contact their legislators and urge them to stop the cuts immediately. It is critical that the Legislature and Governor Brown understand how harmful these cuts would be for California's poorest and most vulnerable patients. Please utilize CMA's grassroots hotline at (877) 362-8455 to be connected with your legislator and asked them to stop the Medi-Cal cuts and to support SB 640.