Budget Analysis Cited in Opposition to Health Proposal
Schwarzenegger's budget proposal for fiscal year 2007-2008 contained "high-risk assumptions" and an "unusually" large amount of optimistic predictions for eliminating the state's budget deficit, according to a report released Friday by the Legislative Analyst's office, the Sacramento Bee reports (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 1/13).
Republican legislators are citing the report in their opposition to the governor's health care reform proposal and other "major expansions of government services," according to the Los Angeles Times (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 1/13).
Under the governor's plan, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families would be expanded to help provide coverage to low- and moderate income state residents. Individuals who declined to carry insurance could face a reduction in state income tax refunds or have wages withheld.
The $12 billion plan also would require contributions from employers, individuals, insurers and medical providers (California Healthline, 1/12).
Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill said the "fiscal benefits of many of the budget's key proposals are overstated and that the actual decline in operating shortfalls would be significantly less."
Hill said that final figures will not be released until later this month but that the most recent available data "do not appear at this time to support the administration's higher revenue estimates." She said the Legislature should "develop a more realistic budget" before the July 1 deadline for approving the plan (Los Angeles Times, 1/13).