Compare and contrast…

A chart today in the Sacramento Bee compares the three budget plans, but somehow completely misses the biggest changes regarding the health care: the main cuts in Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment. The difference is significant, both in the budget year, and in the out year.

They may have missed it because the changes don’t look in the big in the first year, but as the cuts get fully implemented, they balloon in the out years.

The Conference Committee
* Increase Medi-Cal reporting requirements on children to every six months
* Increase Healthy Families premiums and suspend enrollment reforms
Coverage Impact in 3 Years: Over 250,000 children denied coverage
Long Term Impact: Additional revenues (upper-income & corporate taxes to sustain programs in long term)

Governor Schwarzenegger’s August Budget:
* Increase Medi-Cal reporting requirements on children to every six months
* Increase Healthy Families premiums and suspend enrollment reforms
* Delay restoration of Medi-Cal provider rates
Coverage Impact in 3 Years: Over 250,000 children denied coverage
Long Term Impact: Temporary revenue to prevent cuts in next three years; Tax cut after 3 years to force future cuts; Spending cap proposal to force future cuts

Republican Alternative Budget:
* Increase Medi-Cal reporting requirements on children and parents to every three months
* Increase Healthy Families premiums and suspend enrollment reforms
* Make cuts to some Medi-Cal providers
* Limit Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income working parents, and other Californians
* Eliminate benefits to over 3 million adults on Medi-Cal
Coverage Impact in 3 Years: Over 250,000 Californians denied coverage
Long Term Impact: Additional borrowing to force future cuts; Strict spending cap proposal to force future cuts

Just looking at the cuts, the difference between the Democrats and Republicans is the difference betwen denying coverage to 250,000 Californias, versus denying coverage to 1 million Californians.

Looking at the long-term structural issues, both the Governor’s proposal and the Republican proposal would force significant future cuts to health and other vital services. Only the Conference Committee proposal raises the ongoing revenues needed to prevent these severe cuts in the future.

That’s a big difference…

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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