$10M for Health Care, Other Charities in Calif. Left Unspent in 2014
By the end of 2014, about $10 million in charitable tax donations to various efforts in California -- including those related to health care -- remained unused, according to an analysis of financial records, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
California has the largest voluntary tax contribution program in the country, with 36 funds included in the last 10 years.
Details of Analysis
The Associated Press analysis was based on the financial records of 29 funds that had collected a total of $35 million through tax donations since 2005. According to the AP/Bee, state lawmakers allow the distribution of donations to be decided by state agencies, which sometimes are unaware of what to do. As a result, the donations often face a "bureaucratic maze with little oversight."
Health Care-Related Donations
According to the analysis, hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for various health-related purposes did not go toward their intended use.
For example, the financial records showed that $278,000 raised for asthma and lung disease research was reverted to the state treasury because the Legislature and distributing agency did not use the money.
Meanwhile, $237,000 raised for colorectal cancer screenings under a tax fund approved in 2005 was never used for cancer prevention efforts. According to the AP/Bee, the unspent donations were:
- Enough to pay for more than 200 colonoscopies; and
- More than twice the amount of money that the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition has distributed in the last three years.
The cancer screening funding "fell through the cracks" during a reorganization of state health agencies in 2007, the AP/Bee reports. The departments of Public Health and Health Care Services both said they were not given the authority to spend the money (Nirappil, AP/Sacramento Bee, 8/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.