The California Budget and Policy Center has crunched the numbers in the House Budget Committee’s proposed budget. The Center says it would mean a $2 billion a year hit to CalFresh – formerly known as food stamps. “There’s a whole range of other services that children, families, and individuals in general need to have access to, to ensure that they lead healthy and productive lives,” said Scott Graves, director of research for the Budget and Policy Center. “Many of the cuts that are proposed at the federal level essentially amount to massive cost shifts from the federal government down to the states, putting very difficult decisions at the level of state capitals,” said Graves.
“Single payer” and “universal coverage” are two different ideas, but they’re not mutually exclusive. Scott Graves of the California Budget and Policy Center puts it this way: “Universal coverage here is the principle, and when we talk about and hear about single payer, that is one way of moving California toward universal coverage, but it’s certainly not the only way.”
Two out of five Californians with Medicaid are children, reported the California Budget & Policy Center in June 2017. Children make up the single largest group of Medicaid beneficiaries. There’s no way to cut the program without harming kids, parents of kids and the providers that serve them, including children’s hospitals.
If the budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress go through, California would have to come up with at least $1.8 billion a year to keep food assistance at current levels. The California Budget & Policy Center warns that if the cuts aren’t made up, the impact would fall heavily on seniors, who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps.
Early analysis from the state’s Department of Health Care Services shows that the GOP’s health care bill could cost California billions of dollars. Costs would eventually balloon to $30 billion annually by 2027. “California would not able to absorb a cost shift of this size,” said Scott Graves, director of research at the nonpartisan California Budget & Policy Center.