Health Effects of State Budget Cuts

Published on
September 21, 2009
As Congress considers a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, Health Dialogues examines how the new state budget will affect health care closer to home. Will kids in low income families be able to get basic services? What about drug treatment programs mandated by Proposition 36? And how may where you live affect the care you'll get? Healthy Families Long-Term Stability in Question: Find out what it's like to be a 15 year-old girl without health insurance, as Health Dialogues hears from one of nearly 80,000 children on the Healthy Families waiting list backlog. Reporter: Sarah Varney The Value of Community Health Clinics: Many unemployed Californians and the working poor often turn to the nearly 800 community health centers throughout the state when they need medical attention. Host Scott Shafer visits the Russian River Health Center in Guerneville, in rural Sonoma County, to see how the state budget cuts have affected staff and patients. Proposition 36 Coping With Significant Cuts: California's landmark Proposition 36 was intended to send drug users into treatment, rather than prison. The current budget slashed Prop. 36 funding almost in half. That complicates things for the Superior Court in Santa Clara County, where Judge Stephen Manley oversees Proposition 36 cases. Guest: Honorable Judge Stephen Manley, Santa Clara County Superior Court judge. A Conversation with the Director of Medi-Cal: Scott Shafer speaks with California's Medi-Cal director about the cuts that have been made to this safety net. The director had to work with the Governor and the Legislature to first identify cuts and then implement them, an uncomfortable job at best. Guest: Toby Douglas, director of California's Medi-Cal program. The Future of California's Safety Net: Health Dialogues takes a final look at the effects of state budget cuts on public health, by looking at where health care reform is headed, and what it all means for California's safety net. Guest: Marian Mulkey, senior program officer for the California HealthCare Foundation's Market and Policy Monitor program. KQED Public Radio's Health Dialogues