The new 2012-13 California state budget proposal attempts to solve a $16 billion deficit. Half of the budget solution to the deficit is $8 billion in additional budget cuts (a majority in health and human services, including over $1 billion in Medi-Cal alone). Nearly $6 billion in tax revenues, making up 35% of the Governor's budget solutions, would result from a proposed ballot measure pending approval by the voters in November 2012. If voters do not approve those taxes, then billions of dollars in cuts to education and public safety would be triggered.
The health cuts further deteriorate the health care safety net, California health system has already seen major reductions in recent years, from the elimination of dental and other benefits in Medi-Cal, to direct cuts to doctors, clinics, and hospitals. The cuts come in an economic downturn when these safety-net programs are even more in demand and when the state is attempting to get ready for health reform. As a result of these widespread cuts, the impacts will be felt widely through the state, to anybody who might visit an emergency room or health facility, as well as for children in Healthy Families and, seniors and people with disabilities in Medi-Cal. Cuts to health and human services impact not just low-income California families, but our economy, and our health system on which we all rely.