Health Care Providers Protest California Budget Deadlock
At a rally at the California Capitol on Friday, representatives of hospitals, nursing homes, adult care centers and community clinics decried state legislators for tying up Medi-Cal payments by not reaching a budget agreement, the Sacramento Bee reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 9/6).
Health care institutions have not received Medi-Cal payments since July and August, when emergency funds for Medi-Cal providers were exhausted (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 9/6).
The facilities maintain that they will have lost as much as $5.4 billion in Medi-Cal payments by the end of September (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6).
State law requires Medi-Cal to continue paying private physicians who treat Medi-Cal beneficiaries, and pharmacists also will continue receiving reimbursements (California Healthline, 7/24).
Some health care providers have called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the Legislature to approve an emergency appropriation to help health care institutions that are not receiving Medi-Cal payments (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6).
However, last weekend, California Senate Democrats blocked an effort by Republican senators to provide temporary Medi-Cal funding (Mendel, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/6).
Gov. Schwarzenegger also spoke out against proposals for temporary funding measures, and a Schwarzenegger spokesperson said the governor is focused on enacting a budget (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6).
The Bee's "Capitol Alert" has video coverage of the rally ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/5).
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" included a segment on the Medi-Cal payment freeze (Russ, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 9/4).