Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Impact of Governor’s Proposed Health and Human Services Cuts

Day 4 of Budget Conference Committee reviewed the governor’s proposals to cut almost $5 billion in funding for programs benefiting our seniors, women and children, developmentally disabled, and the poor. In reaction to these cuts at today’s hearing, a member of the public testified that a society which is able but unwilling to provide for its most vulnerable citizens is a contemptible society.

Consider this partial list of the governor’s proposed cuts to health and humans services:

· Elimination of the CalWORKs program;
· Elimination of the Healthy Families Program;
· Eliminating certain Medi-Cal state-only programs;
· Elimination of community based services programs at the Department of Aging;
· Eliminate State funding for Community Care Licensing;
· Elimination of remaining General Fund for Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health;
· Elimination of funding for community clinic programs, such as Rural Health Services and the Seasonal and Agricultural and Migratory work programs;
· Elimination of funding for drug treatment programs established by the voters through Proposition 36;
· Reducing in-home supportive services eligibility and care provider pay;
· Reducing funding for foster care rates; and
· Reducing SSI/SSP monthly payments benefiting the aged and disabled to the minimum allowed under federal law.

All of us know someone who will be affected by these cuts. This is not just a matter of balancing the state’s books. For some Californians, it is a matter of life and death.

A society in crisis should not throw women, children, and seniors overboard first.

Where are the effects of these cuts most likely to be felt in California? Consider these three maps, which provide a snapshot into the communities which rely the most on the health and human services budget.