A classless budget…

Lots of coverage of the budget cuts, by Tom Chorneau and John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle (with a separate health cuts article by Elizabeth Fernandez), Mike Zapler in the San Jose Mercury News , and Dan Smith and Judy Lin in the Sacramento Bee.

These articles place some emphasis on the health cuts: provider cuts, eliminating dental and other benefits, additional paperwork burdens, increased costs for children and seniors, AIDS services cuts, etc.

But it is remarkable how broad the cuts really are. In my advocacy career, I’ve become used to austerity budgets that took the biggest whack at the most vulnerable, especially health and social services for those who are low-income. But this has something for everybody to hate, regardless of income or ideology: cuts to schools, closed parks, released prisoners, hospital rate reductions. It’s hard to see who would *not* be impacted in one way or another.

Some cynics (or is it optimists?) believe the Governor is setting the stage to get a tax increase. I’m not sure I believe the conspiracy theory–after all, if he is sincere about “no new taxes,” what other choice does he have?

But those commentators are right that this budget, unwittingly or not, creates a large coalition looking for an alternative solution to the budget crisis.

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