Governor Jerry Brown has just announced new budget revisions to close the $15.7 billion debt and to further offset the state’s ongoing budget deficit. The May Revision includes more than $8 billion in reductions to the state’s health and human services programs, including Medi-Cal, In-Home-Supportive Services (IHHS), hospitals, and nursing homes.
Effective July 1st, $1.2 billion will be cut from the state’s Medi-Cal program. The proposal also includes a November ballot initiative to temporarily raise personal income taxes on those with the highest income for 7 years, which will generate new revenues to the public school system. If unsuccessful, an additional $6.1 billion will be slashed from K-12, higher education, and public services. If the tax increase is not approved in November, additional cuts are likely and these cuts will undoubtedly impact health services.
The new proposal places an even greater strain on safety net providers and affects their ability to provide care to the needy families in their community. In recent years, Tri-City Health Center (TCHC) has seen the major impact of the past budget cut and the recession on the tri-cities communities of Newark, Fremont, and Union City – more people continue to lose their jobs and access to medical benefits.
Since 2008, TCHC has experienced a 39% increase in the number of uninsured patients, reflecting the increased need for safety net services. TCHC has worked hard to respond to these legislative changes and adequately meet the medical needs of their patients and communities. However, if this measure passes, it will not only affect TCHC’s ability to provide primary care services but it will also severely impact the communities we serve.
Stay tuned for more information at https://tri-cityhealth.org on how you can get involved and help us advocate for individuals and families that are otherwise unable to do so. Together, we can strengthen our safety net to face these challenges head on.