Thursday, March 18, 2010

Governor’s Health Care Cuts Add to the Growing Budget Body Count

Over 8 million Californians are now uninsured according to a new study released by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study further found:
• Over the last two years, 2 million Californians lost their health coverage
• The sharp growth in uninsured Californians tracks the growth in unemployment from 5.4 percent in 2007 to 12.3 percent in 2009
• The number of uninsured Californians increased by 28% since 2007
• One in four Californians lack health insurance, including 6.8 million adults and 1.5 million children.

These findings show why Californians desperately needs health care reform at the national level. They also show something far more sinister: The governor’s budget cuts to health care will make California’s health care crisis considerably worse.

The Governor’s proposal to eliminate the Healthy Families program will take health care away from over a million children. His proposal to reduce Medi-Cal eligibility to the federal minimum will take health care away from another 2 million people. Our response to these proposals will literally mean the difference between life or death.

The absence of shared sacrifice in the governor’s budget proposals shows his true priorities. While millions of seniors, working families, and children will lose life-saving health care because of his proposals, the only thing the governor is asking of the rich is to risk waiting another year to break out the champagne when their taxes get cut.

Reportedly, the governor is thinking of his legacy as his failed governorship enters its final months. He campaigned for office saying he wanted to blow up the boxes of waste in state government. But people who need health care are not waste.