About a month ago, UC-Berkeley released a report showing the jobs impact of the major health and human service cuts. The short version is that such cuts are dramatically worse for the economic–and our chances for a recovery–than other budget solutions, including taxes and revenues.
HHS cuts typically bring in federal matching funds, so a dollar cut from a health program in the general fund is actually 2-3 dollars cuts from our health system, and our economy. Also, health and human services can’t be outsourced, so that money stays in California. And the services directly benefit low-income families, as well as low- and moderate-income workers (from home care workers to nurses to hospital support staff), who all tend to put that money right back in the economy, for buying groceries or paying rent. Health and human services are the best form of economic stimulant, and cuts to these programs are the worst possible choice for our economy.
The new report released today details the regional impact of these cuts. And they show the impact is not just on the state as a whole, but they would have big impacts, region-by-region.
The HHS cuts would have the impact of eliminating 37,000 jobs in the Bay Area. Compare that to the closing of the NUMMI auto plant, which was the elimination of nearly 5,000 jobs–and even factor in the 30,000+ jobs of various suppliers. Governor Schwarzenegger’s health and human services budget is the economic equivalent of of closing another NUMMI auto plant in the Bay Area–and then several more around the state.
There are better choices for California.