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How California budget deadlock affects healthcare

Sacramento Bee, June 30, 2008
The 2008 state budget for California, in addition to the prospect of even deeper cuts in California's low-income health insurance program, has patients and providers bracing for reduced access to healthcare, including closures of medical facilities throughout the state. Lawmakers already approved one round of Medi-Cal cuts, and they now are weighing more cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. But without a budget currently in place, most doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and adult day care centers will not be paid for treating the poor, elderly and disabled. Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, called it an unfortunate situation and said she hoped to strike a budget deal sometime next month before healthcare providers endure more financial hardship.