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PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 

The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?

2020Talks - September 28, 2020 

The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Budget: Health Advocates Call It "Bad Medicine" For All Californians

September 22, 2008

Sacramento, CA - California's new budget is "bad medicine," according to healthcare advocates who say not only does it make steep cuts to the system this year, but next year will be even uglier. Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, says the new state budget cuts hundreds of millions of dollars from hospitals and healthcare providers, and means the loss of federal matching funds, too.

"Rather than raising the revenues needed to prevent the worst of the cuts to shore up healthcare, education, and other vital services, it actually uses gimmicks to steal money from future years, to paper over this year's problems."

The new budget includes higher monthly premiums for the "Healthy Families" program and increased reporting requirements for Medi-Cal, the state-run insurance program. Critics predict this could result in more than 250,000 children losing coverage.

Governor Schwarzenegger fought hard to include tighter control over the new "rainy day fund," but Wright says the bigger issue is where the money for the fund will come from.

"The Governor has made a bad budget worse by prioritizing a rainy day fund but not paying for it, which means that's going to be competing, and siphoning money from health and other existing services."

The new budget also retains the current 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal payments for most providers, including doctors, nurses, dentists and home health providers. Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders agree the budget does not address the long-term problems, but their view is that will at least allow California to immediately begin making payments to healthcare providers, schools and vendors that do business with the state.

Lori Abbott/Steve Powers, Public News Service - CA