Health Issues High on Budget Panel List

When the state Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review convened for the first time last week to discuss the governor's budget proposal, concerns about health care funding kept popping up.

"I see the budget does not restore the provider rate cut in Medi-Cal," said state Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) at the Jan. 22 hearing. Stone said the expansion of coverage to 2.2 million more Californians will only work if there are enough providers to see them.

"We have an expanding [Medi-Cal] population and I'm not sure we're going to have physicians," he said. "I see this as a potential medical catastrophe in the making."

Keely Bosler, chief deputy director at the Department of Finance, said it's up to the Department of Health Care Services to make sure the state meets its access requirements.

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