For Immediate Release
May 17, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) today expressed grave concern about California Governor Schwarzenegger’s May Revision to his budget proposal. The Governor’s May Revision maintains drastic cuts from his January budget proposal and makes additional cuts and reductions to vital programs for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities including:

  • The elimination of CalWORKs, the state’s cash assistance program for low-income families.
  • Limits on Medi-Cal prescriptions and doctor’s visits.
  • Increased co-payments for Medi-Cal patients.

These cuts exacerbate those proposed by the governor in January, including:

  • The elimination of full-scope Medi-Cal for lawful immigrants residing in the U.S. for less than five years.
  • Reducing eligibility for the Healthy Families program from 250 to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and increasing monthly premiums for families over 150% of FPL.
  • Limiting In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and reducing state payments to IHSS workers.
  • Reducing grant payments for Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment, the state’s program for low-income elderly or disabled persons.
  • The elimination of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants and the California Food Assistance Program.

“More than one in ten Asian Americans and one in eight Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in California are uninsured, and with state unemployment rates at unprecedented levels, the elimination of CalWORKs and scaling back of Medi-Cal services increases the burden on struggling families,” said Kathy Lim Ko, president and chief executive officer of APIAHF. “The Governor’s proposed cuts target the most vulnerable individuals in AA and NHPI communities, and in this economic downturn, we cannot endure further erosion of the state’s safety net.”

“Let’s hold up our inclusive immigrant programs, and show America that even in the depths of a protracted economic crisis, the nation’s largest state will stand on its best traditions of fairness and opportunity,” said Deeana Jang, policy director of APIAHF. “We cannot allow California to slide backwards in its provision of health care and other critical programs for immigrants. California could be – and should be – leading the nation when it comes to providing health care for all.”

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.