Health care advocates and policymakers are turning a wary eye to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) proposals to close a $20 billion state budget deficit with deep cuts to health programs and other services.
Some advocates say the governor’s plan to scale back Healthy Families and Medi-Cal actually could deprive the state of matching funds.
Meanwhile, Republican legislators have said any new tax increases would only worsen the state’s budget problems.
In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, stakeholders discussed the implications of the governor’s new budget proposals.
The Special Report includes comments from:
- Carla Kakutani, past president of the California Academy of Family Physicians;
- Wendy Lazarus, founder and co-president of the Children’s Partnership;
- Assembly Budget Committee ranking member Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber); and
- Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).
Assembly and Senate committees are expected to hold a special emergency session over the coming weeks to discuss the budget proposals (Kennedy, California Healthline, 1/15).