With his line item vetoes, the Governor has made an already bad budget even worse. The additional cuts would deny discounts on drugs for potentially millions of Californians, and make it even harder to get and stay on Medi-Cal coverage. There are also significant additional cuts in human services.
In health care, the passed budget already had severe cuts to health care, including:
* hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to doctors, hospitals, and other health providers we all rely on;
* increased premiums per month per child in the Healthy Families program; and
* additional reporting requirements on low-income families (every six months) for the purpose of having over a quarter-million California children drop off of health coverage.
The Governor’s line-item vetoes also included:
* Eliminating the funding in the budget year for a program to negotiate needed discounts for prescription drugs for millions of Californians (a much-heralded program the Governor has touted nationally that has already been delayed once); and
* Cuts to county administration of Medi-Cal, at the same time that paperwork requirements are increasing, making it harder for counties to process enrollments, and for patients to get assistance to get on and stay on coverage.
On children’s health coverage, prescription drug prices, and other health issues, the Governor has erased any gains made his term, and in fact has taken steps backward on what was supposed to be his signature issue.
With gimmicks that steal from future years to paper over this year’s hole, with his reduction of taxes and revenues to get us in this mess, and with his rainy day fund that will siphon even more dollars from health care, the Governor’s legacy is to further damage the already broken health system.