Critics Say Proposed Budget Will Hurt Low-Income Seniors
Critics of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) fiscal year 2006-2007 state budget proposal, which he released Tuesday, say that cuts to a number of health and welfare programs will affect low-income and elderly residents disproportionately, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
According to the Daily News, low-income seniors already have been affected by several major health policy changes this year. For example, seniors who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal now must make copayments for prescription drugs under the Medicare drug benefit, which took effect Jan. 1.
In addition, a 5% decrease in Medi-Cal provider payments, which also took effect Jan. 1, has led some doctors to consider ending their participation in the program (Sheppard, Los Angeles Daily News, 1/11).
In related news, KCET's "Life & Times" on Wednesday included a segment examining the reduction in Medi-Cal provider payment rates (Zavala, "Life & Times," KCET, 1/11). The complete transcript and audio of the program in RealPlayer will be available online.
Additional information on the Medicare drug benefit is available online.