The “New” Republican Budget

The Republican Caucus just came out with their “special session” budget:

The Republican budget proposes to deny coverage to a half-million parents, and hundreds of thousands of children, and to deny specific benefits like dental, vision, podiatry to millions more.

This budget would not only harm the health system on which we all rely, but also hinder efforts to stimulate our state’s economy. California would lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal matching funds, doubling–and in some cases tripling–the negative impact of these cuts on jobs not just in the health system, but the economy as a whole.

The proposals include:
* Denying nearly a half-million low-income working parents Medi-Cal coverage, by lowering the eligibility from 100% to 72% of poverty level, cutting off eligbility for parents in families of three making more than $13,000. The cut would be $8.6 million in 2008-09; $109 million in 2009-10, and $342 million in 2011-12, ultimately impacting over 429,000 California parents.
* Denying coverage to hundreds of thousands of children, by freezing funding and enrollment for the Healthy Families program (potentially closing the door to coverage for over 160,000 children), as well as suspending pilot programs authorized under SB437 to more easily enroll already-eligible children.
* Eliminating dental, vision, podiatry and several other benefits for 2.5 million parents, seniors, and people with disabilities on Medi-Cal coverage.
* Imposing significant additional costs on 73,000 “aged, blind and disabled” who make just over $890/month as individuals.
* Siphoning funds away from public hospitals on which we all rely.

While supporting a so-called “no-new-taxes” pledge, Republican legislators are supporting proposals to force low-income children, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities to pay more for basic and emergency health care.

Let’s be clear: Calfornia have already made $16 billion in cuts to health, education, and other vital services; it is time for a shared solution that includes taxes and revenues to prevent even steeper cuts.

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

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