Governor’s Health Reforms Could Hurt San Joaquin Valley
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal could have a negative impact on undocumented adults, hospitals and physicians in the San Joaquin Valley, according to a panel of experts on Tuesday in Fresno, the Fresno Bee reports. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute convened the discussion.
Joan Voris, associate dean and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the UC-San Francisco-Fresno Medical Education program, said the governor's proposal would leave "a significant number of undocumented adults in the county and the Valley that will need to be covered." Voris said the proposal's provision to redirect funds from hospitals that treat uninsured patients to help pay for coverage would hurt residency programs in the Valley that rely on hospitals for funding, such as the UCSF-Fresno Medical Education program.
John Maffeo, CEO of Sequoia Community Health Centers, said the San Joaquin Valley would lose physicians under the governor's plan to require revenue contributions from physicians.
The region already has 25% fewer primary care physicians and 50% fewer specialists than statewide averages.
Maffeo said he supports a plan by Senate Republicans to establish a tax credit for physicians who provide care for the uninsured (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 2/7).