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More Health Care Cuts Could Be On The Table

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Aired 11/23/09

California lawmakers may to have to make more healthcare cuts to help the state cope with a projected 21-billion dollar budget deficit. The Medi-Cal program is one source of potential savings…but it's off limits until 2011.

— California lawmakers may to have to make more health care cuts to help the state cope with a projected $21 billion budget deficit. The Medi-Cal program is one source of potential savings, but it's off limits until 2011.

Medi-Cal is California's second largest expenditure after education. But because the state accepted federal stimulus money, it can't reduce Medi-Cal eligibility or enrollment for at least a year.

That means lawmakers will likely have to target other health care programs.

Anthony Wright directs the nonprofit Health Access California. He says there are no good options.

"Proposals that could come back on the table are the elimination of Healthy Families, and the million children who are covered through that program, cuts to prenatal care and AIDS treatment," Wright said.

To avoid cuts, lawmakers could raise taxes. But Governor Schwarzenegger said he won't even consider that possibility.

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