Orange County Cuts Funds for Emergency Health Care
The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday cut county funding to help compensate physicians and hospital emergency departments for caring for uninsured patients, the Los Angeles Times reports.
County staff had proposed eliminating county funding for the program entirely.
The county will provide $1 million to the effort, rather than $3.5 million, and evaluate other options for revenue for the program (Berthelsen, Los Angeles Times, 6/13). The board of supervisors in December 2006 opted to allocate funding for emergency medical care for the uninsured from the county general fund rather than increase base fines for driving violations, as permitted under a state law approved in 2006. The law permits counties to increase the base fines by 20% to fund:
- Fees for physicians who provide ED care;
- Pediatric and adult trauma care; and
- Other emergency medical services (California Healthline, 12/13/06).
Orange County supervisors are expected to approve a budget within two weeks (Los Angeles Times, 6/13). 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.