Federal court again blocks California's attempts to cut Medi-Cal
California’s repeated attempts to cut spending on healthcare for poor residents were halted again last week.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state’s emergency effort to suspend an earlier decision by a federal judge in Los Angeles to block the cuts in Medi-Cal.
The state wanted to trim 10% from Medi-Cal reimbursements for doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers. Advocates sued, saying the cuts would make it harder for low-income residents to get healthcare, and U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder agreed.
Even though the federal agency that oversees Medi-Cal had approved the budget cuts, Snyder agreed to block them while the case continues.
The 9th Circuit turned down the state's effort to suspend Snyder's injunction, and advocates applauded the decision.
“It is time for the state to stop looking to the Medi-Cal program for their budget problems," said James T. Hay, president of the California Medical Assn.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Dr. Oliver Brooks, center, examines a Medi-Cal patient at an L.A. clinic in 2010. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times