SACRAMENTO -- Two Assembly Democrats want to restore funding for California's healthcare program for the poor, laying the groundwork for another debate over how to make the best use of the state's financial recovery.
The proposal, AB 1805, would reverse a 10% cut to reimbursements to doctors and other healthcare providers who treat Medi-Cal patients.
The reduction was made when the state faced gaping budget deficits, and Gov. Jerry Brown plans on keeping it in place even though a surplus is expected.
Democratic lawmakers, including Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assembly Health Chair Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), say lower reimbursement rates mean fewer healthcare providers will accept Medi-Cal patients.
"California needs to fix reimbursement rates so we don't undermine the very program designed to cover millions of individuals and families in need of healthcare," Skinner said in a statement.
The legislation would cost $400 million in the fiscal year that begins in July, according to Skinner's office.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) has also voiced support for returning Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to previous levels.