California's budget deficit, and the proposed 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal and other state-supported services, threatens to undermine much of the work that healthcare providers and children's advocates have undertaken in the last 10 years. Although most polls show that voters believe that this budget — as in previous years — can be solved without harming social programs, that very likely may not be the case.
Local counties and cities stand to lose the most in Health and Human Services, K-12 and Higher Education. According to a recent publication of The California Budget Project, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization, approximately 249,220 children in L.A. County who receive low-cost health coverage through the Healthy Families program could lose that coverage if proposed increases to family premium contributions and copayments go into effect. According to the report, 60,800 children will lose their Medi-Cal coverage because of increased paperwork requirements, and 5,170 fewer children will enroll in child care and preschool due to funding cuts to child development programs.
Children are our most vulnerable population and our most precious resource. That is why we cannot take the threatened budget cuts lightly. As advocates of children and families, we must work together to inform our legislators of the proposed budget cuts in our communities. Click here to go to First 5 LA's ABC's of policy and advocacy to learn more about what you can do to reach local elected officials.
To read more about The California Budget Project go to www.cbp.org.