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Before the coronavirus hit, California was looking at a budget surplus of more than $5 billion and lawmakers were debating how to increase the size of government health programs. Now, the state faces a deficit, program cuts, high unemployment — and no significant investment in public health funding at a time when the state needs it the most.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom charged into 2020 with ambitious — and expensive — proposals to increase health insurance coverage, reduce homelessness and tackle drug prices. Then came COVID-19.
California lawmakers spent big on Medi-Cal in the 2019-20 state budget, voting to cover more older residents and people with disabilities, restore benefits cut during the recession and open the program to eligible young adults who are in the country illegally.
California’s governor Friday scuttled his plan to siphon public health money from four counties to help provide health coverage for unauthorized immigrants ages 19 through 25.
The Trump administration has talked about prioritizing the opioid crisis, but states have seen little in the way of new resources. And, in some states, getting into treatment is becoming even harder.
The California Nurses Association, representing some 100,000 registered nurses, is regarded statewide and nationally as a progressive political powerhouse. “Politicians are afraid” of the activists they turn out, said one critic.
California has reported more than 500 travel-related Zika infections, and five babies have been born in the state with birth defects related to the mosquito-borne disease.
Water board officials want to limit TCP, a former pesticide ingredient and human carcinogen that has contaminated water supplies. Groundwater in other states is contaminated as well.
Gov. Jerry Brown said he will work with other governors and lawmakers to prevent a loss of federal health dollars that could “devastate” the state’s budget.
Legislation would raise payments for Denti-Cal providers, using revenue from the state tobacco tax recently passed by California voters.
Enrollment is nearly double where the state expected to be at the seven-month mark.
The proposed compromise would avert $1 billion in budget cuts but still must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the legislature.