Governor’s New Budget Slices — Again — Into Health Care

(Max Whittaker: Getty Images)

(Max Whittaker: Getty Images)

Governor Jerry Brown released his revised budget this morning and the cuts to health and human services are significant. Since the economy soured in 2007, state cuts to health and services programs have exceeded $15 billion .

Today the governor announced:

  • An additional $400 million in cuts to Medi-Cal, mostly to hospitals and nursing homes
  • Reductions to the “Healthy Families” program which covers children, effecting their access to health care. Potential savings are $48 million
  • Reducing In-Home Support Services hours by seven percent for a savings of $99 million
Anthony Wright of Health Access, a statewide advocacy group said these cuts would effect virtually all Californians. “These ugly cuts are a body blow to the health system on which we all rely,” Wright said in a statement. “These are the wrong cuts at the wrong time, during an economic downturn when Californians need this help the most, and when we need to get ready for health reform to maximize the benefit for our families and our state.”

In a conference call with reporters today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley said the cuts to her agency were inevitable. “The problem we have and always have in health and human services is this is where most of the spending is. The spending is in education and health and human services to a very large degree, and the only place you can cut back are the places where you are spending.”

The governor’s revised budget depends on voters passing his tax increase proposals expected to land on the November ballot.  A poll last month by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 54 percent support for the governor’s plans — but tax increases require a two-thirds majority to pass. If his tax proposals do not pass, more cuts will be necessary to balance the state’s budget.

Related
  • anne

    i wish people would agree to paying just a little more in tax. that would mean less cuts…in government benefits and people who work in support of these benefits won’t lose their jobs.
    It’s common sense that you can’t balance a budget by just cutting things out. You need a revenue!!!