Women Feeling Effects of Cuts to State Health, Social Services Programs
In California, women are especially affected by recent budget reductions made to state health and human services programs such as Medi-Cal and CalWORKs, Bloomberg reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, and CalWORKs is the state's welfare-to-work program under the federal welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Details of Cuts
Michael Weston, a spokesperson for California's Department of Social Services, said that lawmakers reduced CalWORKs grants by 8% as part of this year's state budget, resulting in maximum aid for a family of four decreasingÂ from $828 to $762 per month (Vekshin, Bloomberg, 11/1).
In addition, CMS recently approved the state's proposal to cut Medi-Cal reimbursements to a number of health care providers by 10%. Physicians and pharmacists are concerned that the cuts will affect beneficiaries' access to care (California Healthline, 11/1).
Joan Entmacher -- vice president for family economic security at the National Women's Law Center -- said women are disproportionately affected by cuts to social services. She said women often have "lower incomes and more frequently are single parents responsible for providing for children."
About 78% of adult CalWORKs beneficiaries are women, according to data from the non-partisan California Budget Project.
According to HHS, about 70% of adult Medicaid beneficiaries are women.
H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for the California Department of Finance, said the state "has had to close unprecedented budget gaps in recent years." He added, "In making those reductions, every effort has been made to maintain a social safety net for the most vulnerable" (Bloomberg, 11/1).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.