No whammies, no whammies…

Hanging in the budget balance is not just state workers’ salaries. Or even payments to clinics and other caregivers.

It’s whether Californians are covered or not covered. And these budget cuts will have an impact in every community–in multiple ways.

A common phrase is the “double whammy.”

* That’s the point of a San Jose Mercury News editorial by Kim Roberts, the chief executive of the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, who talks about the cuts to reimbursements to safety net providers–at the very same time that cuts would also increase the number of uninsured people who need to rely on these safety-net institutions in the first place.

* Families would also feel the mulitple impacts of the cuts: the same family that loses Medi-Cal coverage for a child, or dental benefits for an adult, may also lose a cost-of-living increase in other types of assistance, from child care to in-home assistance for the elderly or disabled. Wes Woods at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports about the impact in San Bernardino county.

* Kids would get the “triple whammy,” according to reporting by Sarah Arnquist at The Health Care Blog. State budget cuts would only exacerbate the situation with counties that are being forced to drop children from coverage–some that has already been announced in Alameda County and could be done soon in counties like Los Angeles. This is under the backdrop of declining employer-based coverage for kids, and these state and county public programs would no longer be able to pick up the slack.

These are different regions, and there are multiple ways the cuts get felt (providers getting decreased funding but increased demand, families getting cut in multiple services, and cuts at the state and county level as well as the private sector), but it’s clear that without a budget that prevents these cuts, Californians will feel them–from many different directions.

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

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