HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

HEARINGS CONSIDER PROPOSED MID-YEAR REDUCTIONS;

NEW RESOURCES FOR ADVOCATES

* SENATE HEARING OVERFLOWS: Today, the Senate Budget Subcommittee (#3) on Health, Human Services, Labor and Veterans Affairs heard emotional testimony on the proposed mid-year reductions. After the chair of the subcommitte Senator Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata) briefly commented on the “grave” budget situation, they took hours of testimony from a range of patients, families, workers, providers, and advocates that packed the hearing room and the halls outside.

* ASSEMBLY HEARING: The Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health will meet on Friday at 10:00am to consider proposed mid-year reductions. Medi-Cal cuts are NOT expected to be part of the agenda.

* NEW RESOURCES: Advocates for the uninsured should be aware of new national reports of interest.

* The Kaiser Family Foundation has recently released key reports on Medicaid. One new report shows 49 states have planned or implemented Medicaid cuts in fiscal year 2003.

WEB SITE: http://www.kff.org/content/2003/20030113/

* The Access Project released a report today showing the financial repercussions of being uninsured. In particular, it shows that the uninsured are likely to face medical debt and even bankruptcy, exploding the myth that uninsured families just get free care. Health Access California will be sponsoring legislation in this area this year, to provide consumer protections for self-pay hospital patients.

WEB SITE: http://www.accessproject.org/medicaldebt.html

* Families USA will release the ATTACHED report tomorrow on the economic and job impacts of California’s Medi-Cal cuts, as part of a national study. As we discuss tax cuts, revenues increases, and job creations initiatives, this gives an important perspective on the value of Medi-Cal spending, which provides not only federal matching funds, but also generates jobs and economic activity.

WEB SITE: http://www.familiesusa.org

* Also ATTACHED is a revised health care budget cuts scorecard, with revised estimates from the Department of Health Services on the number of people affected by the cuts.



Anthony E. Wright

Health Access

1127 11th St., #234, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ph: 916-442-2308, Fx: 916-497-0921

awright@health-access.org

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

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