The 2009-10 Budget Huge Hits to Health Care

On July 28th, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a package of cuts that revised the budget for the 2009- 2010 fiscal year, which began on July 1st.1 On top of billions in earlier cuts to health care and other services, including the elimination of ten Medi-Cal benefits,2 the newly revised budget includes more than $2 billion additional cuts to health care. As a result, hundreds of thousands of children will be denied health coverage and millions of Californians will face greater problems accessing and affording the health care they need. BACKGROUND: In February 2009, the Governor signed a fiscal package that included a budget for FY09-10, to close a $42 billion deficit, including some tax increases and $15 billion in spending cuts. The February package also put on the ballot a spending cap plus five other proposals (including ones to divert funding away from mental health services and health and social services for young children) that voters rejected in a May special election.3