After Hep A Outbreak Among Homeless, Critics Wonder Why San Diego Didn’t Tap Millionaire’s Tax Fund
The city has $170 million in special funding that's dedicated for services that help mentally ill people, and it's just sitting in the bank. But officials say the money had no bearing on the county's response to the deadly hepatitis A outbreak, and that with the current plans in place, the funding will be all but gone by mid-2020.
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Meant To Help With Mental Illness, Money From Tax On Millionaires Piles Up
While the hepatitis A virus ran unchecked through the streets and homeless camps of San Diego last year, claiming 20 lives and sickening hundreds of others before it was corralled, $170 million in special funding for mentally ill people sat in a county bank account. So much Mental Health Services Act revenue piled up, San Diego County collected more than $12 million in interest from the unspent cash. Even today, as the homeless crisis deepens and suicide remains persistently high, critics say too much of the money the county spends from the fund goes to consultants, reports, public relations and pilot projects rather than direct treatment for patients most affected by mental illness. (McDonald, 10/14)
In other news from across the state —
Los Angeles Times:
This Student Activist Graduated To Fighting Healthcare Inequities, Building A Free Clinic Into AltaMed Health Services Corp.
AltaMed Health Services Corp. Chief Executive Castulo de la Rocha, 69, has dedicated his life to the less fortunate, from his youthful participation in the Chicano civil rights movement to the present, running the largest community healthcare system in California funded under the federal Health Care Consolidation Act. The nonprofit has 2,800 workers and 300,000 clients, who receive service regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status. (White, 10/14)
Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
North Coast Cannabis Marketplace Sees Surge Among Health And Wellness Users
The legalization of cannabis for recreational use this year has brought new consumers into the fold of the multibillion-dollar retail marketplace in California — but not all are looking to get high. In fact, the easing of the stigma over cannabis has caused a surge this year of people using the plant for health and wellness reasons, even though medical marijuana has been legal in the Golden State for more than 20 years, industry officials said. The newer users range from women looking to ease the nausea from chemotherapy and treatments for breast cancer — a disease which cannabis advocates say the plant appears to be uniquely suited for — to lawyers looking to reduce stress after a difficult workweek. (Swindell, 10/13)