California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing significant cuts to health services, including a hospital payment rate freeze, in his May revised budget proposal to help close a $19.1 billion deficit.
Schwarzenegger proposes deep healthcare cuts
The budget plan includes a $523 million cut to Medicaid—called Medi-Cal in the state—in service caps and increased cost-sharing. Hospital Medi-Cal rates would be frozen at the current level for a savings of $64.9 million. Members of Healthy Families, the state's children's health insurance program, would see increased co-payments and other cost-sharing but no reduction in enrollment or eligibility.
Cuts to in-home supportive services, local mental health and prison healthcare are also part of the $83.4 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1. A major welfare-to-work program, called CalWorks, would be eliminated entirely in October.
Schwarzenegger said the state has no low-hanging fruit to pick anymore. “We literally have to take the ladder away from the tree and shake the whole tree,” he said at a news conference.
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) called the proposal “a nonstarter.”
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.