It’s good to know in our difficult financial times, the right people are being asked to make up the difference. This article from the Associated Press has more details:
SACRAMENTO, Calif.â€”Financially strapped states are looking to take away government health insurance and benefits from millions of Americans already struggling with a souring economy.
An Associated Press review of the budgets in all 50 states reveals coverage would be eliminated for hundreds of thousands of poor children, disabled and the elderly. More than 10 million people would lose dental care, access to specialists, name-brand prescription drugs or other benefits. About 20 million could see their care jeopardized by further cuts to doctors’ reimbursements.
Health care is a choice target as governors and legislators confront the worst deficits they’ve faced in a decade or more, but that’s not their only target: They’re also considering cuts in aid to schools and universities, shrinking state workforces and even releasing prisoners before their sentences are completed.
Safety-net programs for the elderly, disabled and out-of-work also could be cut, even as the demand for those services is on the rise.
Despite the dire conditions, only a handful of states are seriously considering general tax increases or even modest hikes on the wealthy to close the gaps. Lawmakers say they fear such actions would only further stress the economy.
Instead, states are looking to increase lottery ticket sales, promote Indian gambling or further raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Those taxes disproportionately hit the pocketbooks of the same poor and working-class that would be hurt by the spending cuts, studies show. [full text]