More on the budget hearing from Jessica Rothhaar, who directs our budget organizing for Health Access California:
The hearing room was overflowing with Californians from around the state. The big turnout conveyed the severe impact of the cuts absolutely clear.
Senators Ducheny, Leno and Lowenthal also repeatedly expressed disbelief that the LAO was recommending adoption of the Governor’s cuts without accounting for the additional costs of consequences they admitted would happen, such as additional ER admissions, uncompensated care, homelessness, HIV/AIDS infection rates, etc. or the political impossibility of others, such as the taking of Prop. 10 and Prop. 63 money to backfill other programs. On the flip side, Senator Ducheny did ask several times whether less drastic cuts might be possible to several of the programs under discussion, such as to Healthy Families vision coverage.
Among the groups speaking against the cuts at yesterday’s hearing included: AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE); AltaMed; Alzheimers Association; The ARC; Asian Pacific American Legal Center (LA); Bayview Adult Day Health Care; CA Alliance of Retired Americans; CA Association of Adult Day Services; CA Association of Family Health Centers; CA Association of Health Plans; CA Association for Health Services at Home; CA Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems; CA Commission on the Status of Women; CA Disability Community Action Network; CA Hospital Associationl CA Immigrant Policy Center; CA Medical Association; CA Primary Care Association; Casa Pacifico ADHC; Children Now and the 100% Campaign; Children’s Specialty Care Coalition; County Health Directors Association of CA; County Mental Health Directors Association of CA; County Welfare Directors Association of CA (CWDA); Developmental Disabilities Council of Alameda County; Easter Seals; Elderday ADHC; Futures Explored; Graceful Senescence ADHC; Hemophilia Council of CA; Loma Linda University Medical Center; National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; Oral Health Access Council; Para Los Ninos; Placer Independent Resource Services; Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA; Resources for Independent Living; Sacramento CARES; San Diego Council of Community Clinics; San Francisco AIDS Foundation; United Association of California Care Providers (UACC); and Western Center on Law and Poverty.
There was particularly awesome turnout and testimony organized by the California Association of Adult Day Services, which had members there from just about every district represented on the Budget Committee, including San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Los Angeles. Let’s keep it up!