Report: July Budget Cuts Restricted Health Services, Dental Care
Last year's state budget cuts caused three million Californians to lose health benefits or access to health care, according to a new report from the advocacy group Health Access California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The group examined the impact of a July budget revision package that cut nearly $2 billion from the state's health care system. The report suggests that the cuts caused:
- California to lose $134 million in federal matching funds for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program;
- Community clinics statewide to lay off at least 200 staff members; and
- Mental health clinics to close their doors.
The report also estimated that the cuts caused about 450,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries to lose dental coverage during the last six months of 2009 (Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/8).Anthony Cava, spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services, refuted Health Access' estimates and said state data suggest that about 327,000 fewer residents tried to use Medi-Cal dental benefits since July (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 1/8). 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.