Healthy Families Could Face Budget Axe Amid New Deficit Projections
Recent budget projections could compel California lawmakers to revisit earlier proposals to cut funding for Healthy Families and other state services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Healthy Families is the state's Children's Health Insurance Program.
Last week, the Legislative Analyst's office released a report predicting that California will face a $20.7 billion deficit through June 2011.
Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and state legislators have yet to announce plans to address the new deficit, experts say it is likely that lawmakers will return to prior budget proposals rejected earlier this year.
Such proposals include:
- Eliminating Healthy Families;
- Ending state funding for HIV/AIDS services; and
- Terminating coverage for dialysis, breast and cervical cancer treatment under Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Democratic lawmakers also are likely to push for revenue-raising measures such as ending certain tax breaks. Republicans have vowed to oppose all tax increases.H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for the state Department of Finance, said "virtually every aspect of state government will be impacted" by the budget deficit (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/22). 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.