There’s an important article by Steve Harmon at the Contra Costa Times, that explores the implications of a spending cap. It’s being pushed by legislative Republicans in budget negotiations: the question is whether legislative Democrats agree to such a long-term restriction to get the revenues needed to fix the immediate budget problem.
Jean Ross of the California Budget Project has blogged about the implications for health and other vital services. Such a cap would inevitably force cuts in health and human services, especially for our growing and aging population. In health care, where costs go up higher than inflation, would be particularly hard hit.
But more than that, such a cap would prevent us from ever addressing needs that we know we have: do we want to remain nearly last in the nation in Medicaid reimbursements to our medical providers? do we want to continue to have 6+ million uninsured?
Let’s hope that to get out this immediate and urgent budget problem, we don’t exacerbate the problems in health care and many other sectors of California life.