Newsom Seeks Health Care Funding in Sacramento Visit
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday will meet with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and other lawmakers to ask for state funding for a proposal to provide health benefits to all uninsured San Franciscans and to finance a new public hospital, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In the meetings, Newsom plans to ask Schwarzenegger, Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland), Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) and the Democratic caucus for state assistance.
One funding request will be that the governor include money for hospital construction in his proposed $222 billion public works plan. Preliminary estimates for the reconstruction of San Francisco General Hospital -- to meet state seismic safety standards -- are as much as $808 million. Schwarzenegger's proposal currently does not include funds for hospitals (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/22).
In addition, California is expected to receive $180 million in federal funding beginning next year to provide health care for uninsured residents. Newsom said he plans to ask lawmakers to secure an adequate amount of that money to fund a universal health care access plan in San Francisco (Lagos, San Francisco Examiner, 2/22).
Newsom said he believes the plan would meet the federal government's funding criteria and it could be used as a model for other counties and cities nationwide (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/22).