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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Critics Say Governor’s Budget Would Shred Health Care Safety Net

— Negative reactions to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan continue to pour in. Public health advocates say the governor's proposed cuts would be catastrophic.

The governor wants to reduce Medi-Cal spending by $1.1 billion. If more federal funds aren't available, he would also reduce Medi-Cal eligibility and eliminate so-called optional benefits.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit Health Access California. He says last year lawmakers cut ten Medi-Cal benefits, including dental care.

"The additional ones that would have to be cut are things like prosthetic limbs, and prescription drugs, and things that are frankly unimaginable, if you have any pretense of providing coverage at all," he says.

Governor Schwarzenegger concedes the cuts would be painful. But he says there's no conceivable way to avoid them.

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