County, State Officials Compete for Health Care Funds in Washington
Los Angeles County Supervisors and state lawmakers are in Washington, D.C., this week competing for their share of federal health care funding, KPCC reports.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said that in the past, federal funding was given directly to counties, but now counties engage in a "complicated dance" with state officials to ensure that the state does not use all the federal funding before it reaches the county level.
Yarloslavsky said that the state is "looking for every revenue stream they can possibly get their hands on to address their problems," adding, "We cannot afford to do that at our expense.
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) -- who is in Washington, D.C., with Assembly Speaker John PÃ©rez (D-Los Angeles) --Â acknowledged the competition between the state and counties for health care funding, calling it "healthy tension, but tension that will be worked out in the end." He said that state and county officials share the same goal of providing more care to more California residents (Felde, KPCC, 5/5).
PÃ©rez, Steinberg Ask for $3B-$4B
In an interview on Wednesday, PÃ©rez said that the goal of his trip to Washington, D.C., is to "maximize return" on the federal tax dollars Californians pay, KPCC reports.Â
PÃ©rez said he and Steinberg are asking federal officials for $3 billion to $4 billion to help with health reform implementation and the state's mounting budget deficit (Julian, KPCC, 5/5).
On KQED's "California Report," Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers predicts that California will secure about $3 billion in additional funding for health care and social service programs. Myers notes that the level of funding is significantly lower than Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) original request of $7 billion. In addition, the federal assistance likely will be a one-time payment, not ongoing funding as requested by Schwarzenegger, Myers said (Myers, "California Report," KQED, 5/5).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.