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Court to decide if CA can cut payments to Medi-Cal providers

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will decide whether to give California and other cash-strapped states more freedom to cut the amounts they pay doctors, hospitals and other providers of medical care for the poor. The case could have a major impact on Gov. Jerry Brown's plans to close the state's massive budget deficit. Federal courts previously blocked about $1 billion in Medi-Cal cutbacks adopted by the Legislature in 2008. Brown has proposed trying those cuts again. His budget plan would reduce the amounts the state pays healthcare providers by 10%, which would reduce the program by $719 million.
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