Orange County Health Advocates Await Tobacco Settlement Funds
With the Orange County Board of Supervisors recently opting to drop any further legal challenge to Measure H, the voter-approved ballot measure that requires the county to use the majority of its share of the tobacco settlement for health care initiatives, health care advocates are eagerly anticipating the allocation of the funds, the Orange County Register reports. Measure H dictates how the county will spend its nearly $30 million annual share of the tobacco settlement. The Register reports that the distribution of funds includes:
- $6.9 million to increase compensation paid to emergency room physicians for services provided for the uninsured;
- $6 million to not-for-profit community clinics, university and hospital-affiliated and mobile clinics that provide immunizations, health care and dental services;
- $5.7 million to care for seniors and people with disabilities;
- $3.6 million to fund antismoking and mental health programs;
- $1.8 million to hospitals with emergency services and trauma centers that provide care for low-income residents; and
- $6 million for public safety programs.
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