Now that the State Budget has in effect told Medi-Cal patients to wander off and die quietly someplace, the next step is to push for passage of AB 1805 (Skinner and Pan). This bill aims to restore the 10% cut that was put into effect with the State Budget Act of 2011. It is this 10% cut that the State Budget that just passed this past Sunday could have restored. If AB 1805 passes it still risks veto by the Governor. In fact, AB 1805 isn't going anywhere very fast since it is as of this writing being held, some would say smothered, in Assembly Appropriations.
On the other hand, we're glad to report that SB 1215 (Hernandez) took its final dive for this year when it failed to clear the Senate Business and Professions Committee. One of the principal purposes of this bill was to eliminate the exception for in-office referrals for selected specific services such as advanced imaging, radiation therapy, and even physical therapy, in other words, as mean spirited a bill as one could envision.
The Skinner-Pan bill needs help because it is on a collision course with the newly accepted State Budget which went out of its way do kick the Medi-Cal patient in the butt by denying access to services. In support of this bill is the California Medical Association, the California Neurology Society, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, and most organized professional medical groups.
Individual letters to your Assembly representatives and State Senators are needed to assist in the passage of AB 1805 and to try to turn aside the anticipated gubernatorial veto.