Gov.-Elect Schwarzenegger Must Reduce Funds for Health, Other Programs To Balance Budget , Columnist Writes
Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) ability to work with the Legislature to close a predicted $8 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year 2004-2005 will "make or break" his political legacy and will likely require cuts in funds for health programs, Jennifer Nelson, a policy writer, writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. The "tough decisions" in balancing the budget include workers' compensation reform measures and whether to require copayments from enrollees in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and parents of children with developmental disabilities, according to Nelson. Schwarzenegger "will have no choice but to eliminate some optional Medi-Cal services" to close budget shortfalls without raising taxes, Nelson continues. However, because of opposition to program funding cuts from Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) and other lawmakers, "Schwarzenegger will have to either bulldoze his way through the Legislature's obstructionism or charm his way around it," Nelson writes (Nelson, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.