Orange County Hires Staff to Plan Tobacco Settlement Allocation
Orange County Supervisors voted Tuesday to hire 23 nurses, analysts and health educators to determine how to distribute more than $14 million in tobacco settlement funds between hospitals, clinics and health programs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new employees will assess "existing and new programs that target health needs," including senior homes, clinics, family resource centers, antitobacco programs and alcohol and drug treatment services. The board opted to hire the workers after voting two weeks ago to "keep its promise" to split this year's estimated $28.4 million tobacco settlement allotment between paying down the county's debt and health care services. Last year, supervisors used the entire $37.7 million allotment to pay down the county's debt, a decision that prompted county health care leaders to sponsor Measure H, a ballot initiative that would have earmarked 80% of future tobacco settlement funds for health care. Measure H was "overwhelmingly approved" by voters in November, but the supervisors have filed a lawsuit to overturn the vote (Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 12/20).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.