As July 1st, today got a lot of attention for being the start of the state’s fiscal new year… and get another year where the budget is not done on time.
Presumably, a budget will be agreed to and signed into law later this summer. What’s more important is that this is the first day that the 10% Medi-Cal provider rate cuts go into effect.
This doesn’t just impact doctors, hospitals, and other providers. It hurt patients who find it harder to get a doctor, or specialist. (One study indicated that more than half of California doctors don’t take Medi-Cal.) It is a major cut to the health care system on which we all rely. And unlike the delay in the budget, it is permanent, unless the Legislature reverses the cuts.
Let’s be clear: the Democratic majorities are offering to restore these cuts. But that won’t happen unless the Democrats in the Legislature are able to get their fellow Republican legislators to support the taxes needed to restore those cuts. And until such a decision is made, patients and providers will have to suffer with the cut and its consequences.