Sen. Denise Ducheny corrected Assemblyman Niello’s assertion that the budget debate has not included all the ways Medi-Cal could be reduced. The problem is, she said, cuts to benefits save so little.
Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Inland Empire, had a few interesting comments that I hope he’ll remember in the future:
“I don’t want to cut things that are going to get matching dollars from the federal government.” In the Medi-Cal program, the federal government matches eligible expenses dollars for dollar. It means that for every dollar California cuts, we lose an additional dollar in federal investment. Duh. This logic should be applied anytime he looks at a Medi-Cal cut.
Dutton also made a logical argument for why provider rates ought not be cut: because it would discourage providers from taking more patients in certain areas and drive patients to the emergency room. Bingo.