“When you look at the age 0 to 18 group, that works out to over 50 percent of kids in California who rely on Medi-Cal for their health care,” California Budget & Policy Center Director of Research Scott Graves said.
The president, some believe, has given lawmakers a more visceral way to view the threats to California’s balanced budget. As such, frequent demands in the past by legislators for more spending were noticeably absent in the state Capitol this year. “The governor has kept warning about a downturn,” said Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget & Policy Center, which advocates for programs aimed at low-income families. “The federal unease suddenly gives that a bit more reality.”
That sentiment is echoed by many other Senate Republicans, and many don’t see health care as a federal role of government. You can see that in the Senate bill, Scott Graves, a researcher at the California Budget & Policy Center, told ThinkProgress. In the Republican health care plan, the federal government will be pulling the rug out from under states. It’s unclear if California can sustain the Medicaid expansion due to its budget limitations, said Graves. Bound by state law, the budget needs to be balanced. California could either raise revenues, make cuts to existing spending, or do something in between, Graves said. “It’s not that easy to raise taxes in California,” he said.
“We have a lot more activity in our economy in these ‘other’ categories, and we’re leaving those folks behind,” says Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. “Our traditional definitions of work basically exclude them from the types of support that we provide to other people.”
Mothers and children benefit from the EITC most of all. According to research by the California Budget & Policy Center, the EITC significantly increases the employment rate for single mothers and the health of all mothers. Nearly 3 in 5 tax filers eligible for the CalEITC are women, according to the CBPC, and women account for 7 in 10 eligible workers with children.