Doctors Rally at Capitol for Higher Medi-Cal Reimbursements
Wearing lab coats and chanting "Health Care, Code Blue," a group of doctors organized by the California Medical Association rallied at the state Capitol yesterday, calling for increased Medi-Cal reimbursements and more funding for emergency rooms, the Ventura County Star reports. At the top of the CMA's legislative agenda are two bills sponsored by Assembly member Keith Richman (R), the only physician in the Legislature. The first bill (AB 32) would expand access to state-subsidized insurance and give doctors a "guarantee of payment" by allowing them to make a "presumptive determination" of eligibility while treating a patient. The second measure (AB 1043) would require Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to be set at 80% of the rates Medicare pays. Both measures are being heard today by the Assembly Health Committee. The Star reports that some lawmakers "cautioned" physicians that the budget may not allow for new spending on health care. However, Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte (Rancho Cucamonga) said that April's tax returns show that revenues for the coming year should total about $8 billion and that the state budget should be "healthy" (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 4/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.