Bad news budget day…

We’ll have posts later today about the health impact of the budget, and will be also do what we can on Twitter, at @healthaccess, or

There are no good choices in this budget, but that doesn’t mean that some options are not worse than others–and additional cuts are absolutely worse. Additional proposed cuts to health care will have devastating impacts not just on patients directly affected, but also the health system we all rely on.

As Matthew Yi indicates in the San Francisco Chronicle today, some cuts would force us to lose billions in federal stimulus dollars, but even for every dollar we cut from health programs like Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, we are turning away even more dollars from the federal government at a time when our health system and economy needs them most.

After cutting $19 billion in the past couple of years, California has cut $15 billion just in February. We simply need additional taxes and revenue to prevent cuts of unimaginable impact.

The Governor is expected to use these number to promote the propositions, but really only Proposition 1C has a major impact on this year’s deficit. In fact, Proposition 1A doesn’t take effect for two years and won’t make a dime’s worth of difference on this or next year’s budget.

The Governor highlighting the severity of these cuts makes our case against Proposition 1A, since the spending cap will make it much harder to ever restore these cuts, even when the economy improves and we have more revenue.

The focus of solving this budget mess should not be the propositions–which adds to the budget gridlock but doesn’t even help with the long-term budget crisis–but the Republican legislators who mindlessly stick to their no-new-taxes pledge and use the two-thirds voting rule to prevent a sensible, shared, and sustainable solution to this budget crisis.

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