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California cannot cut Medi-Cal payments to hospitals

San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 2010

A federal appeals court has barred California from lowering Medi-Cal payments to doctors and hospitals by 5%, saying the state's budget crisis doesn't justify violating federal laws that protect the poor and disabled. In four rulings, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected attempts by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature to reduce the state's deficit by paying less to the health professionals who treat 6.6 million low-income Californians, and to hundreds of thousands of workers who care for some of the neediest, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.