Painful Round of State Budget Cuts to Hit Poor, Working Class

The Federal Reserve has lowered its projection for economic growth this year, spurring fears that the economy could continue to weaken despite January's interest rate cuts, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. (AP / CBS)
By  | 

Sacramento, Calif (AP) States are feeling the economic heat too and are taking a hard look at big cutbacks.

They're looking to take away government health insurance and benefits from millions of americans already struggling with the souring economy.

An Associated Press review of the budgets in all 50 states reveals coverage would be eliminated for hundreds of thousands of poor children, disabled and the elderly. More than 10 million people would lose dental care, access to specialists, name-brand
prescription drugs or other benefits. About 20 million could see their care jeopardized by further cuts to doctors' reimbursements.

States are also considering cuts in aid to schools and universities, shrinking state workforces and even releasing prisoners before their sentences are completed.

Despite the dire conditions, only a handful of states are seriously considering general tax increases.