March 30, 2009

Acupuncture Cut from Medi-Cal

Insufficient stimulus funds means elimination of acupuncture on July 1

March 31, 2009 -- As part of the budget package approved in February, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Finance Director Mike Genest had until April 1 to determine whether California would receive at least $10 billion in federal stimulus funds that could be applied to the state general fund through mid-2010.

On Friday, March 27, 2009, Lockyer and Genest concluded that California will receive only $8.2 billion in stimulus funds for its general fund.

Acupuncture Today reported in April on this possibility. We will be reporting on this more in a future print issue.

Because the federal stimulus funds did not meet the $10 billion requirement established by the budget package, all funding for optional benefits, including acupuncture, within the Medi-Cal program will end on July 1, 2009. Consequently, Medi-Cal acupuncture benefits will terminate on this date.

The California State Oriental Medicine Association (CSOMA) will continue to advocate for full restoration of acupuncture benefits in Medi-Cal. It will provide updates as this situation continues to develop. You may check their Web site at

CSOMA welcomes and appreciates feedback on these issues. You may send comments to or contact CSOMA toll-free at (800) 477-4564.


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