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Sequester Could Spell $23 Million in Cuts to California Health, Social Programs

If Friday's federal budget cuts known as "sequestration" go through, California's health and social service programs stand to lose at least $23 million.

A White House report said thousands of California children would go without vaccines, and disadvantaged kids will lose day care. It says the reduced spending would affect California's ability to deal with public health threats from infectious disease and disasters. And substance abuse treatment and HIV testing would also lose funding.

Meanwhile, Dr. Paul Phinney with the California Medical Association said Medicare would get a two-percent cut.

"There's so many negative effects of these proposed cuts, that are kind of arbitrary and across the board that doctors are really concerned that it's going to hurt the health of our communities and our patients," said Phinney.

The White House estimated that California would lose more than $5 million for senior meal programs, such as Meals on Wheels. Nationally, hundreds of thousands of mentally ill adults would lose access to treatment services.

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