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Judge issues injunction blocking healthcare cuts; state to appeal

February 1, 2012 |  1:23 pm

A federal judge has agreed to block cuts in Medi-Cal payments, making her temporary ruling earlier this week permanent.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration said it will appeal the judge's ruling, dated Tuesday, to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court battle stems from the state’s effort to slash 10% from Medi-Cal reimbursements for doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers. Advocates said the cuts would make it harder for low-income residents to get care through Medi-Cal.

“The state’s repeated attempts to slash Medi-Cal reimbursements have been halted, once again,” said James Hay, president of the California Medical Assn. “Rather than focusing on Medi-Cal cuts as a short-term budget solution, we should be working together to find long-term solutions; our hope is that we can now move forward with those discussions.”

In her decision Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder said the cuts could violate federal law.

“The state’s fiscal crisis does not outweigh the serious irreparable injury plaintiffs would suffer absent the issuance of an injunction,” she wrote in her 30-page order.

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Twitter: @chrismegerian

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California's budget faces new legal challenges

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