BUSINESS
04/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Neediest Hit Hardest By State Budget Cuts

In California's San Fernando Valley, Everardo Orozco, 53, who has AIDS, exhausted his medical benefits and can no longer afford the drugs that are keeping him alive.

"I don't know which ones I can afford every month," Orozco said, explaining how his supply is dwindling and his share of the payments has skyrocketed from $400 to $3,200 per month. He now injects himself with some medications once a day instead of twice -- not enough to keep his T-cell count from dropping or to prevent his body from becoming resistant to treatment. And he fears that there will be more cuts.

State budgets have been hit hard by a worsening national economy, including rising costs for energy and health care. In addition, fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis -- declining home sales, deflated property values and mounting foreclosures -- has caused a slide in states' anticipated tax receipts. Revenue from property taxes, sales taxes and real estate transfer taxes is affected.

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