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Schwarzenegger Threatens To Slash Health Care Spending

Audio

Aired 12/23/09

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to slash health care spending if Congress doesn't give California more money. Critics say the governor is staking out territory for next year's state budget negotiations.

— Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to slash health care spending if Congress doesn't give California more money. Critics say the governor is staking out territory for next year's state budget negotiations.

In a letter to Congress, the governor asks for billions of dollars to help California meet its obligations. He wants federal permission to cut enrollment in the Medi-Cal program to save money. And he says the state may have to eliminate In-Home Supportive Services for the disabled.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit Health Access California.

"I don't think that these are idle threats," Wright says. "I think that our budget crisis is serious enough that that becomes the only option if you take other options off the table, including taxes and revenues."

California's current budget deficit is estimated to top $20 billion. Wright predicts lawmakers will fight over whether to make more health care cuts next year.

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