Judge blocks 10 percent Medi-Cal cuts
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge has blocked a 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal payments to doctors, dentists, pharmacies and many other health care providers.
The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to issue a preliminary injunction is a blow to efforts by California lawmakers to erase a $15.2 billion state budget deficit.
The Legislature approved the Medi-Cal cut during a special session in February.
Snyder agreed Tuesday that health care providers were likely to win their lawsuit challenging the move, which was designed to save $$650 million in state money during the current fiscal year.
The providers said the cut would force them to drop out of the Medi-Cal program and dramatically limit low-income Californians' access to medical services.
Ned Wigglesworth, spokesman for the California Medical Association, said the decision is retroactive to the start of the fiscal year, July 1. He said he wasn't sure how much providers would be reimbursed.