Public health activists say budget cuts will hurt kids, seniors

Los Angeles County public health workers say Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed cuts would unfairly balance California's budget on the backs of children and seniors.

Lark Galloway-Gilliam of the Community Health Councils spoke to reporters today outside the governor's downtown L.A. office. She invoked former governor Pete Wilson when she said Governor Schwarzenegger should look somewhere other than health and human services to fix California's fiscal problems.

Lark Galloway-Gilliam: "You know, he rode in on his white horse talking about, 'No vehicle license tax. I'm taking that off.' We need to reinstate that to the level it was under Wilson and the like, because that was money to our system many of us never felt, but it was helping to provide care."

Galloway-Gilliam suggested that she’d accept a cap on administrative costs down the entire health care services chain. A coalition of public health advocates joined her in calling on the governor to spare the Healthy Families program for children and Medi-Cal and Social Security benefits for seniors. They predicted that cuts to those programs would lead to more emergency room overcrowding across the region.