Sunday, February 08, 2009

State Budget: Where'd The Money Go?

The San Jose Mercury News has a good read today looking at the big increases in spending that brought us to the mess we're in now. Included are some numbers I've been looking for.

For one, if spending increases would have been held to only account for population growth and inflation, state spending last year would have hovered around 92.7 billion dollars. Current revenues bring in around 90 billion dollars. So, there'd still be a deficit, just not anywhere near as bad as the one we have.

As many suspected, prison spending accounted for the biggest share of the spending increases. Following that was state health care.

What's disturbing to me is the health care spending, if only because MediCal is supposed to be a big part of that and MediCal has probably the lowest reimbursement rates to doctors in this country. So much so that more and more doctors are refusing to see MediCal patients. Yet, it's still one of the biggest increases in state spending.

Lowest reimbursement rates, yet still one of the big reasons for spending increases? Wow.


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