HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

UPCOMING HEARINGS ON HEALTH CARE

* Senate Budget Subcommittee: Wednesday in Sacramento

* Senate Health Committee: Monday in Los Angeles

* Report on Protest Today

The Senate will hold two hearing on Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts

to health and human services in the next week. Organizations and people who

will be directly affected by the cuts are invited to testify.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10th, in SACRAMENTO: Senate Budget Subcommittee on

Health and Human Services, chaired by Senator Wes Chesbro, will conduct an

informational hearing on Wednesday at the State Capitol, starting at

11:00am. The committee will reveal its analysis of the numbers of children,

people with disabilities, seniors, and others that would have their health

care denied because of these cuts.

The committee will take public testimony, on each item on the agenda, as

regular procedure. Of the fourteen items, the first is on the “Additional 10

Percent Reduction to Medi-Cal Rates & Other Programs,” and the third is

“Governor’s Proposed Cap on Enrollment for Health & Human Services

Programs.” The full agenda is at:

http://www.senate.ca.gov/ftp/SEN/COMMITTEE/STANDING/BFR/_home/Sub3/DEC102003

MIDYEAR.PDF

MONDAY, DECEMBER 15th, in LOS ANGELES: The Senate Health and Human Services

Committee, chaired by Senator Deborah Ortiz, will hold an informational

hearing on the “Structural Deficit and the Governor’s Proposed Budget

Reductions in Health and Human Services Programs” on Monday, December 15,

from 12:00noon to 3:00pm at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Chambers, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Room 381-B, 500 West Temple

Street, Los Angeles.

After opening remarks by Senator Ortiz, the program will consist of four

panels, and then end with a session for public comment. The panels are on

the four subjects:

1) Capping Enrollments in Healthy Families, Regional Centers, and AIDS

Assistance

What does this mean for families and individuals?

2) The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Residual Program

What does eliminating it mean for individuals and families?

3) Non-Core Services for Persons with Disabilities (Especially Respite)

Who uses respite services and what does it mean for them?

4) Medi-Cal Provider Rate Reduction

Will a provide rate reduction make access to health care more difficult

for individuals and families?

ATTACHED is a flyer, the first of a planned series, showing a quote from

Candidate Schwarzenegger, and Governor Schwarzenegger’s actual budget

proposal. Feel free to use.

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: Of interest to all who watch the budget and the

rapidly changing political climate, Governor Schwarzenegger appeared today

in Sacramento with wife Maria Shriver to light the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Hundreds of families and supporters of people with developmental

disabilities came out in the drizzling rain to protest the Governor’s cut,

outnumbering a relatively small crowd that was there to witness the

ceremony. The silent protest featured people with stickers and T-shirts that

said “People with disabilities are not Waste and Fraud!” and similar

slogans. People with signs and handing out leaflets were not allowed on the

“state property” of the Capitol Park, but ringed the sidewalk.

Ironically, the Christmas tree was, by tradition, decorated with ornaments

by children with developmental disabilities, and the Governor had to speak

about the need for the very programs he is proposing to cut, right before he

assisted a child in lighting the tree. It may have been as ironic as the

Governor’s mall rallies last week, where he highlighted his budget plan that

includes borrowing $15 billion by cutting up a giant-size credit card.



Anthony E. Wright

Executive Director

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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