Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Brown’

Tough love from Jerry Brown

“Everybody has needs,” Governor Jerry Brown told the physicians and medical students who filled a Sacramento banquet room on April 17.  “But needs turn into rights, which turn into laws, which turn into lawsuits.”

The governor was breaking the news that physicians can look for little help from state government in raising payment rates for California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, despite the fact that they are already among the lowest for any Medicaid program in the country. The budget deficit is severe, he said, even with drastic cuts that have already been made to schools, the state university system, and services for people in need.

Governor Brown addressed the physicians (myself included) who had made the trip to Sacramento as part of the California Medical Association’s 38th Annual Legislative Leadership Conference.  For anyone who cares about incentives for physicians to see Medicare and Medicaid patients, nothing he said was good news.  If payments to physicians continue to decline, more of them will stop accepting these patients, and we can expect to see even more physicians leaving the profession in frustration.

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