California’s budget is now 50 days late and we are headed toward our longest budget impasse *ever*. But today brought a bit of good news: A Los Angeles judge has blocked the state’s 10% Medi-Cal reimbursement cut, which took effect July 1.
In order to get a jump start on closing the state’s $17.2 billion shortfall, lawmakers and the governor approved a bunch of borrowing and initial cuts. One of the cuts was to reduce the reimbursement rates paid to providers caring for Medi-Cal patients. California already ranks among the lowest-paying states for Medicaid providers — this cut made things even worse, as Anthony pointed out in the Sacramento Bee article today.
Of note: HD Palmer in the Department of Finance says the judge’s ruling would “cost” the state $575 million. We would argue that NOT paying providers their normal, abysmally low reimbursement rates would cost the state — not only $575 million in matching federal dollars, but:
- $1.4 billion in business activity,
- 11,400 jobs and
- $517.5 million in wages.