Coalition files suit to block CA Medi-Cal cuts

Nobody's happy when the state cuts reimbursement rates for a program that already doesn't pay so well. But when California threatened to cut rates 10 percent for Medi-Cal, its program for the poor, a group of healthcare organizations decided to take action. The coalition is seeking an injunction to halt the cuts, which have already been approved by the legislature and by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in February.

Group members argue that the cuts would decimate the network of caregivers available to Medi-Cal recipients, which has already been falling rapidly due to the program's low rates. (Medi-Cal reimbursement rates are already the nation's lowest among programs for the poor.)  The group also predicts that some hospitals and skilled nursing facilities will be forced to close, particularly in rural areas. What's more, pharmacies and adult day health centers would be severely impacted as well, they contend.

To learn more about the suit:
- read this San Francisco Chronicle piece