A coalition to promote health care access,quality and affordability for all Californians
For Immediate Release For information: Steve TrossmanTuesday, May 14, 2013 213-300-1882
Governor’s Deep Medi
-Cal Cuts Hurt Vulnerable Patients, CompromiseAccess to Quality Care, and Undercut the Recovering Economy
The following statement
on Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget
was issued by DaveRegan, President of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), on behalf of We Care for California, a broad new coalition of hospitals, doctors, dentists, workers, insurers, and first-responders.
“Governor Jerry Brown’s inclusion of deep Medi
-Cal cuts in his revised budget is an ill-timed move thatwill hurt the poorest and most vulnerable patients in California, compromise access to quality healthcare, and put the brakes on a recovering economy.
Economic conditions have shown encouraging signs of revival, with billions of dollars in new revenue.
The governor’s proposed cuts, totaling $1
billion to Medi-Cal providers, come at the worst possible time,when California is working to successfully implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These cuts willundermine those efforts to carry out federal reform, and will have devastating consequences forpatients and communities that count on affordable, quality health care.
The cuts would affect both existing patients as well as the 900,000 children moving from the HealthyFamilies program into Medi-Cal this year. And millions more who will be newly eligible for Medi-Calunder ACA would also be impacted.
One in five Californians currently receive health insurance through the Medi-Cal program. Starving theprogram of needed funding penalizes all Californians, since costs are shifted to the private sector. Thatcreates an upward spiral on individual premiums. In addition, a comprehensive examination of theconsequences of the cuts, first outlined in AB 97 in 2011, reveals
massive hits to California’s economy
and its job picture.
The worst result of these cuts is that they punish those who can afford it least. Hospital-based skilled
nursing facilities face nearly a 27 percent cut in funding that would tear a hole in California’s safety net,
rip families apart, and punish the sick and the elderly who depend on this specialized care. Theseservices would be reduced or disappear, leaving taxpayers to pay for more expensive and less effectivealternatives, such as acute-care units. Cutting Medi-Cal rates, already the lowest in the nation, will forcemany physicians to stop accepting new Medi-Cal patients just as the ACA is adding millions more to thesystem.
The We Care for California Coalition supports Senate Bill (SB) 640 (Lara) and Assembly Bill (AB) 900(Alejo), which have gained significant bipartisan support as they have moved without opposition