First look…. It’s ugly…

The quick headlines on the Governor’s budget:
* Hundreds of Thousands Would Lose Coverage; 3 Million Would Lose Dental, Other Benefits
* Cuts Would Harm California’s Coverage, Health System, Economy; Lost Federal Funds
* More Revenues Needed Just to Match Cuts of Previous Year, Not Including New Cuts

The proposed health cuts would mean hundreds of thousands of Californians would lose coverage, and millions would lose dental, vision, podiatry, and other vital benefits. These cuts will also mean California will lose federal matching funds, further harm our already broken health system, and our economy.

Two specific cuts of note:
* Denying low-income working parents Medi-Cal coverage, by lowering the eligibility from 100% to 72% of poverty level, cutting off eligbility for parents in families of three making more than $13,000. The cut would be $8.6 million in 2008-09; $109 million in 2009-10, and $342 million in 2011-12, ultimately impacting over 429,000 California parents.
* Eliminating dental, vision, podiatry and several other benefits for the three million parents, seniors, and people with disabilities on Medi-Cal coverage

We appreciate the Governor is supporting specific taxes to prevent even worse cuts, and rejects a cuts-only approach to find a budget solution. However, the revenues proposed don’t match the cuts that have already been made in the past few months and years, much less the new, additional cuts proposed today.

Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, has a quick one-sheet detailing the health cuts, on our website:
http://www.health-access.org/advocating/docs/MidyearCuts110608.pdf

Health Access also has earlier studies, about how these cuts impact health coverage:
http://www.health-access.org/preserving/Docs/HACoverageImpactReporto6-25Final.pdf

More later…

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

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