Breast cancer patients are finding it increasingly difficult in San Diego to access breast cancer surgeons because of the state’s underfunded Medi-Cal program.

Medi-Cal eligibility has increased, but it is not helpful while there are not adequate doctors to refer people for treatment. It is also important for women to have a medical home and they can’t have it if we don’t have providers in our area willing to accept Medi-Cal.

Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources.   Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace where Californians can shop for health plans and access financial assistance if they qualify for it. Health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California both offer a similar set of important benefits, called essential health benefits.

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 56 which directs the state government to invest new tobacco tax revenues into expanding patient access to essential health care services provided by community clinics, dentists and physicians.

Under the governor’s proposed budget, patients will be added to the back of already long Medi-Cal lines while giving $1 billion back to the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Help ask California’s Legislature to use Tobacco Tax funds as voters intended: to increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to allow more providers to participate in the program to ensure enrollees can access care when they need it.

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