Propositions Fail, Health Care in Crosshairs for Deep Cuts
Health care services in California are bracing for big cuts, after five of the six budget measures in yesterday’s special election were defeated. And some of those cuts could impact community clinics and kids.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Under the “ballot measure failure” version of Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget plan he proposed more than $2.5 billion in Health and Human Services cuts. $750 million could be cut from Medi-Cal with approval from the feds. It’s the state funded insurance program for the poor. And that could mean more uninsured patients at struggling community clinics around California. Elia Gallardo with the California Primary Care Association says they’re trying to keep up with rising demand because of the recession.
“We’re already talking about a huge influx of new patients that can’t afford health care services and we’re having significant difficulty responding to that.”
Also under the proposal, up to 225,000 kids could lose their health insurance with cuts to Healthy Families. The program covers low-income children whose families can’t afford private insurance, but don’t qualify for Medi-Cal.
At this point, it’s not clear exactly what will happen because lawmakers still have to debate all the proposed cuts. That likely will bring up clashes between Republicans and Democrats that have crippled previous negotiations.