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Health Care Advocates Slam Governor’s Proposed Budget

Audio

Aired 1/9/12

Critics say the governor's proposed budget cuts would hurt poor children's access to health care.

— Criticism continues to mount over Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget. Health care advocates are especially concerned about cuts to the Healthy Families program.

Healthy Families provides low-cost dental, vision and health benefits to children of the working poor. About 875,000 kids statewide are enrolled.

Brown's proposed budget would cut the rate the state pays to health plans in the program by 25 percent.

Anthony Wright directs the nonprofit group Health Access California. He warns the cut could cause health plans to drop out of Healthy Families.

"Those insurers that remain will have to go back to providers and reduce rates to providers, which would then have impact on what doctors and specialists that children have access to," Wright said.

The governor is also proposing $800 million in cuts to the Medi-Cal program.

Democrats in the state legislature say they don't believe these cuts are necessary.

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