California is not the only state in this mess. As Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times writes in an article entitled, “Struggling states cut healthcare for poor before Obama can bolster coverage,” other states are already making cuts to coverage.
California imposed additional reporting requirements to have over 250,000 children fall off coverage, and has active proposals by Governor Schwarzenegger to deny coverage to over 500,000 more California adults, largely low-income working parents.
If economic recovery funding comes, we need it not only to prevent these cuts, but to restore those that have already been made.
The expectation is that the new federal money from increased Medicaid funding may be bigger than the proposed cuts in Medi-Cal–but still small compared to the size of the overall budget deficit. But we have a good case to make that the money should be used as intended, to keep our health care programs and system whole, and to meet the increased and urgnet health care needs during this economic downturn.