Safety Net Health Care Programs Begin To Feel Impact of Budget Cuts
More low-income Californians are facing difficulty accessing medical care as recent state budget cuts begin to take effect, Kaiser Health News reports.
This summer, lawmakers passed a budget revision package that reduced funding for:
- County and community dental clinics;
- HIV/AIDS programs; and
- Home care for the elderly.
Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, also ended coverage for services such as:
- Dental care;
- Hearing aids;
- Mental health;
- Podiatry; and
- Vision care.
Advocates say the budget cuts are weakening safety net health care at the same time that the state is seeing an increase in Medi-Cal applicants.
About 300,000 new applicants joined the program last year and an additional 400,000 are expected to enroll this year. The projection would bring Medi-Cal's total enrollment to a record high of 7.2 million residents (Wilson, Kaiser Health News, 11/6).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.