Sequester Cuts Would Affect Health Care, Other Programs in California
On Sunday, the White House detailed how California and other states would be affected if a deal is not reached by Friday to avoid automatic cuts under sequestration, the Contra Costa Times reports (Noguchi, Contra Costa Times, 2/24).
The automatic cuts involve nearly $1 trillion in across-the-board reductions over a decade, including a 2% reduction to Medicare reimbursement rates (California Healthline, 2/20).
The White House determined the effects of sequestration on states by using numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office (AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/24).
How Sequestration Would Affect California
If the sequester cuts go through as expected, Obama administration officials and experts estimate that California would lose about $670 million annually in federal grants, as well Â $3.3 billion in military and defense revenue.
Health and human services-related cuts in California wouldÂ involve the loss of:
- $12.4 million in grants to prevent and treat substance use disorders;
- $2.6 million in funds to help improve the state's response to public health threats;
- $2 million in funds for the California Department of Public Health, resulting in 49,300 fewer HIV tests; and
- $1.1 million in funds for vaccines, resulting in 15,810 fewer children receiving immunizations (Rosenberg, Contra Costa Times, 2/24).
Efforts To Avoid Sequestration
Although it is unlikely that federal lawmakers will reach a deal by March 1, they are expected by Wednesday to hold votes on competing measures to avoid sequester, the Washington Post reports.
A plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would delay the cuts until January 2014, replacing them with a mix of $110 billion in new tax revenue and more narrowly tailored spending cuts.
Meanwhile, a plan by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still is being developed. Officials say McConnell's plan might leave the sequester in place but allow for more flexibility among agencies in implementing the cuts (Goldfarb/Kane, Washington Post, 2/24).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.