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State Budget must address overburdened Medi-Cal system

Kathy Kneer

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California is disappointed that today’s May Revise of the State Budget does not include relief for an overburdened and underfunded Medi-Cal system, especially as it relates to those who are providing the care.  Millions of Californians have enrolled in Medi-Cal through expanded eligibility, yet there aren’t adequate funds to care for them.

“Just because someone has health insurance coverage, doesn’t mean they have access to a primary care provider,” said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “It’s time for the state to make the smart investments in the infrastructure of the Medi-Cal program.”

California ranks 49th in the nation in the reimbursement rates paid to Medi-Cal providers. As a result, fewer providers are willing to take new Medi-Cal patients, meaning longer waits for medical appointments and for health care. Particularly hard hit by the low reimbursement rates – many which haven’t increased since the 1980s – are primary care doctors and clinics like Planned Parenthood who serve thousands of women and children.

“When low reimbursement rates keep providers from accepting new Medi-Cal enrollees, it’s the patients and the community who suffer,” Kneer said. “Women tell us stories of how they have to contact four, sometimes, five doctors before they find one who will accept them as a new Medi-Cal patient.”

Planned Parenthood’s #1 priority is addressing the extremely low Medi-Cal rates so we can continue to provide patients with preventive and reproductive health care, including life-saving breast and cervical cancer screening, birth control, STD testing and treatment and in some areas, primary and pre-natal care.

“If we are to bring the reality of health care to all Californians, especially women and their families, there needs to be meaningful investment in Medi-Cal,” Kneer said. “We’ll continue to work with the Legislative leadership to, at the very least, restore the 10% cut from an already lean system.”

Take action!

Email Governor Brown and your CA legislators through our take-action page right now to show your support for fully funding Medi-Cal - because #AccessMatters!

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Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education.

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