As the budget results roll in, the future of California’s healthcare and public services finds itself consistently downtrodden and weary. Though this is a subject many others have written about, I think it’s something none of us can advocate enough. These trends are unacceptable and altogether unsettling.
Having worked with mental health organizations and HIV/AIDS advocacy foundations alike, the budget cuts struck home when my inbox was flooded with updates and newsletters detailing the effects the budget will have on these individual organizations. If I receive 10-15 emails in a week from 10-15 different foundations who are now struggling more than ever to serve populations in need, I cannot begin grasp the number of people who employ these services who are hurting as providers are forced to cut back and shut down.
The budget cuts extensive preventative care programs, which seems contradictory to the concept of basic healthcare. It should be our goal to help people before they are hurting, not offering healthcare as a last ditch resort. By providing those in need with a solid foundation of health care services and programs our state could potentially decrease emergency room visits and frequency of urgent care needed by the public. As far as a budget goes, prevention is the most inexpensive and takes less of a toll on resources—saving both money and lives.
Though it may take time to truly understand the full effects these cuts, the Clinic here at St. Anthony Foundation is sure to feel some pressure in the upcoming months. Our services here may be needed now more than ever as more and more people in California are liable to fall trough the cracks of California’s public healthcare plan.