Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access WeBlog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. 

While July has been a month of promise as committees pass out health reform proposals at the federal level, there has been a stark contrast with the carnage in California.

On July 1, nearly 3 million Californians--mostly low-income parents, seniors, and people with disabilities--lost ten key benefits in their Medi-Cal coverage. The biggest concern is dental coverage, which over 900,000 of these patients use in a given year. Other benefits these patients lost include podiatry, optometry, psychology, and speech therapy.

All of these cuts are foolish: Dental coverage allows for better nutrition and prevents emergency room visits. Podiatry is an early warning signal for diabetes, etc. But these decisions don’t even meet the “penny-wise” clich