California's Governor Jerry Brown released his budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year today and it includes "painful" cuts in healthcare and social services.
Reaction has been swift from groups that work on behalf of the poor and disabled.
From the HHS Network of CA, a coalition of organizations including the Western Poverty Law Center and Health Access:
We are appalled that Governor Brown’s solution to California’s budget crisis is $2.5 billion cuts to essential health and human services. Since 2008, California’s health and human services have suffered an astounding $15 billion in cuts, and this budget only continues the gutting of the social safety net that so many Californian families depend on. From our quick analysis, the Governor is making a $946 million cut to CalWORKS, an $842 million cut to MediCal, a $163 million cut to In-Home Supportive Services, a $447 million cut to child care, and $87 million in cuts to various other HHS services.
From Darcel Lee, Executive Director of the California Black Health Network:
Once again, the proposed budget balances the deficit on the backs of our most vulnerable communities,” said B. Darcel Lee, (CBHN). “The number of uninsured in California grew to 7 million last year. At a time when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, we can’t afford to take away basic support programs for working families.
“On one hand, Governor Brown is advocating for a 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal. On the other hand, he wants to add just under a million more young people to the program, which data shows is already struggling to meet the needs of the existing patients,” said Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. “The Medi-Cal provider network will simply not be able to accommodate this large influx of kids and teens. It’s unclear how anybody wins in that scenario.”
The governor is also calling for new taxes to close the budget deficit. From Jean Ross, Executive Director of the California Budget Project:
The Proposed Budget includes major reductions in a number of critical areas, especially support for low- and middle-income Californians who need health coverage, child care, help in moving from welfare to work, or help financing a college education. Still, the governor should be commended for a balanced approach that calls for new revenue, instead of taking a cuts-only approach to addressing the state's fiscal challenges.