County Budget Proposal Would Increase Hospital Funding
San Mateo County would provide an additional $14 million to San Mateo Medical Center for treating low-income patients under the proposed fiscal year 2006-2007 budget released Friday, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Board of Supervisors President Jerry Hill said the 25% increase would require the county to spend $68 million from the general fund, according to the Examiner.
No cuts are included in the proposed $1.6 billion budget. However, county Manager John Maltbie said the county could face a $23 million deficit in FY 2007-2008 unless additional sources of revenue are found or services are cut.
The county's single largest expense is unfunded retiree health care and benefits costs, which total about $100 million. The county plans to pay down the unfunded liability using about $80 million from reserves by 2007, according to Deputy County Manager Reyna Farrales.
The county proposes increasing new spending in FY 2007-2008 by $65 million and includes about $140 million in reserves.
County Supervisor Rich Gordon said that "there are some red flags in this budget that are going to require future attention from us," such as the increasing cost of care for low-income patients at San Mateo Medical Center and increasing retiree health and benefits costs.
Public hearings on the proposed budget begin June 26, and supervisors are scheduled to adopt a budget June 28 (Carpenter, San Francisco Examiner, 5/30).
The proposed budgets for fiscal years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 are available online.