Contra Costa County Supervisors Vote To Reduce Funds for Health Care Programs in Budget Plan
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted 4-1 to approve a $1 billion fiscal year 2002-2003 budget plan that includes a number of reductions in funds for health care and other programs to cover an estimated $31.4 million deficit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under the plan, the county Employment and Human Services Department will lose $15 million in FY 2002-2003 and the county Health Services Department may lose as much as $8 million. As part of the plan, the health services department will eliminate mental health day-treatment programs and in-home medical visits for infants and will reduce staff in a lead poisoning prevention program (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/14). In addition, the plan eliminates 148 positions from both departments. However, the board decided to drop a provision in the plan that would have eliminated immunization programs for county children. The board also ordered health services department officials to develop a plan to eliminate the department's estimated $6.5 million budget deficit. Department officials may shift some services for children to the county Children and Families Commission, which the county funds with Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenue. County Public Health Director Wendel Brunner said that he would ask the commission to partner with the health services department to restructure the health care programs in the county. "Programs for these young children in this county are either going to get a whole lot better or a whole lot worse," Brunner said (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 8/14).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.