As the nation hollowed out its public health infrastructure for decades, staffing and funding fell faster and further in Florida. Then the coronavirus ran roughshod, infecting more than half a million people and killing thousands.
Across the country, the recession has cut state revenues at the same time the COVID-19 pandemic has increased costs, forcing state lawmakers into painful decisions about how to balance their budgets. Health care is one of the targets even in the midst of a health care crisis.
Public health officials are asking for more money in California’s state budget. But unlike some rich and powerful health care interests, they don’t have an army of lobbyists to curry favor with lawmakers.
Safety-net health care programs that keep low-income Californians out of nursing homes are on the chopping block as Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers attempt to plug a massive budget deficit caused by the COVID-19 emergency.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom charged into 2020 with ambitious — and expensive — proposals to increase health insurance coverage, reduce homelessness and tackle drug prices. Then came COVID-19.
California lawmakers spent big on Medi-Cal in the 2019-20 state budget, voting to cover more older residents and people with disabilities, restore benefits cut during the recession and open the program to eligible young adults who are in the country illegally.
California’s governor Friday scuttled his plan to siphon public health money from four counties to help provide health coverage for unauthorized immigrants ages 19 through 25.