HEALTH ACCESS Budget Cuts UPDATE

Monday, December 9th, 2002

* BUDGET HEARINGS SCHEDULED

* Health Care Cuts Hearing Set For Tuesday, December 17th in Los Angeles

* ATTACHED is a UPDATED Health Cuts Scorecard. The proposed mid-year cuts to health care are largely those that were properly rejected last year by the Legislature as too severe. It seems the cut in eligibility goes beyond what was proposed last year. The current proposal is to directly deny further coverage to thousands of working parents already on Medi-Cal, as opposed to last year’s proposal to deny newly-applying parents. The scorecard will be updated as we get better information about the financial and human impacts of the new proposals.

* With the new session starting, BELOW is a report from Beth Capell, Health Access legislative advocate:

The Assembly is scheduling budget hearings on the Governor’s proposed cuts.

The first hearing will be Monday, Dec. 16. At that hearing, the Department of Finance will present the Governor’s budget cuts in detail. Public testimony is not anticipated.

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 1 on Health and Human Services will meet in Los Angeles to take testimony on the impact of proposed budget cuts. Other budget subcommittees will meet in other cities that day and also on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

The subcommittees are meeting outside Sacramento so that advocates have maximum access to the process. Details will follow on times and precise locations over the next few days. Given the mechanics of a hearing in Los Angeles, it is most likely that the hearing will be in one of the downtown state office buildings but this is not certain.

The California Constitution prohibits legislative committees from voting on any matter when meeting outside Sacramento. While these are information gathering, not decision-making meetings, it is crucial that advocates maximize turnout and effective testimony to send the message about the impact of the budget cuts.

The members of the Assembly Budget Committee are not yet appointed. The chair of the full committee will be Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach). The chair of the subcommittee on Health and Human Services is likely to be Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park). The other committee members are not known at this moment but are likely to be announced in the next few days.

The Senate has not yet scheduled committee hearings. Senate President Pro Tem John Burton prefers to consider revenues and cuts simultaneously.

As of this morning (12/09), the budget staff on both the Assembly and Senate side had not yet been briefed by the Administration on the precise nature of the cuts.

As always, some of this information is subject to change. Health Access will send updates as we get them.



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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