California Govenor Outlines Cuts To Address State’s Budget Deficit Problems
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) outlined two budget proposals to address the state's budget problems, and both plans would affect health care, the Los Angeles Times reports. The first proposal addresses the situation if California voters approve a set of special ballot measures intended to provide funds for fiscal year 2009-2010. The state would still face a $15.4 billion budget deficit even if voters approve the measures, and the second proposal addresses that scenario (Rothfeld, Los Angeles Times, 5/15). The governor proposed $750 million in cuts to Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, that would reduce eligibility and provider rates. The state would need to seek a federal waiver to implement the cuts. The governor also proposed eliminating eligibility for non-emergency Medi-Cal benefits for documented immigrants (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15). Spending for centers that provide services to people with developmental disabilities would be cut by $234 million (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 5/14).
If voters do not approve three ballot measures, Schwarzenegger outlined $800 million in additional cuts to health and human services programs, including a proposal to eliminate Healthy Families coverage for about 225,000 children. Healthy Families is California's CHIP (Yi et al., San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15).