Survey: 78% of Voters Concerned Over Plans To Cut Health Services
In a survey released yesterday, more than three-quarters of Californians expressed concern about cuts to health care and human services programs in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) revised budget proposal, but far fewer people cited funding for those programs as a priority, KQED's "Capital Notes" reports.
The poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 78% of voters are either somewhat or very concerned about the governor's plan to cut more than $3 billion from the health and human services initiatives as part of a strategy to address the state's budget deficit.
However, only 17% of respondents said preserving funding for those programs was a priority. By contrast, 61% of respondents prioritized preserving funding for K-12 education (Myers, "Capital Notes," KQED, 5/21).
Schwarzenegger's revised budget plan includes a total of $3.4 billion in cuts to health and human services. The proposal also would reduce the income eligibility for Medi-Cal for two-parent households to 61% of the federal poverty level. Medi-Cal is the state's Medicaid program (California Healthline, 5/15).
In addition, the Legislature in February approved and Schwarzenegger enacted a 10% reduction in state Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to providers beginning on July 1 (California Healthline, 5/14).
Thirty-five percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Schwarzenegger's overall budget proposal, while 56% described themselves as dissatisfied and 9% said they had no opinion on the budget plan. It is the lowest satisfaction level with the state budget reported since Gov. Schwarzenegger took office.
The survey was based on responses from 2,003 Californians from May 12 to 18. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22).