On May 14, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown called for additional spending cuts to health and welfare programs, as well as a 5 percent furlough for state workers, to help erase a budget deficit that has grown to $15.7 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January.
Thanks to the California Medical Association’s (CMA) legal and legislative advocacy efforts, however, the Governor's "May Revise" doesn't rely on Medi-Cal payment cuts, despite numerous recent attempts to slash the state's already low provider rates. Most recently, a federal court judge in February issued a final order enjoining the state of California from implementing a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates. Between this upcoming budget year and the last, CMA's legal advocacy has prevented more than $420 million in provider rate cuts.
Also in February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rejected California’s request to impose mandatory copayments for Medi-Cal patients, which would have saved the state $511 million.
The plan does, however, rely on several proposals of concern to physicians. The Governor continues to promote his proposal to move all Medicare/Medi-Cal “dual eligibles” into managed care. And, the new budget proposal continues the plan to transition all Healthy Families children into Medi-Cal managed care. CMA is working with the legislature and the administration on alternatives that will protect physicians and their vulnerable patients.
For more details on the Governor's revised budget as it relates to health care, see CMA's Budget Summary.