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Judge blocks California's cut in Medi-Cal fees

San Francisco Chronicle, August 20, 2008

A federal judge has blocked California's 10% cut in Medi-Cal fees for doctors, dentists, and pharmacies, saying the measures appear to violate federal law and would worsen medical care for the poor. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder said she was aware of California's gaping deficit, but she said the state has accepted federal funds for Medi-Cal and is bound to use them to provide quality healthcare to low-income residents. Richard Frankenstein, MD, president of the California Medical Association, said this was the third ruling in five years to conclude that "the state of California has put at risk the access to healthcare for millions of Californians by underfunding the Medi-Cal program."