New Revenue vs. New Cutbacks

Anthony Wright – executive director of Health Access and a veteran observer of the California Legislature – acknowledges that health care politics in Sacramento have changed a bit because of national health care reform, but he’s quick to add this is not a time for health advocates to sit back on their heels.

“It can always get worse,” Wright said, adding, “And without new revenues, it will get worse.”

Wright said Democrats are on the right track by identifying new sources of money in their budget proposal announced this week.

“It’s important that they included revenues in the mix. We need a balanced approach that includes new revenue if we’re going to get out of this crisis,” Wright said.

Republicans disagree. Strongly.

“Rather than reducing spending to close a $19.1 billion budget deficit, Democrats want to raise taxes on working and middle-class Californians to continue to fully fund government programs we can’t afford,” Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick (Carlsbad) said in a prepared statement. “Democrats reject nearly all proposed spending reductions and resort to sticking it to the taxpayers,” he added.

Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (Murrieta) said cuts are the only way to go.

“We need to reduce spending so that we can balance the budget without raising taxes. Democrats continue to ignore the people, who just last year rejected this tax and spend approach,” he said.

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