Sacramento County Approves Health Care Measures
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved construction of a new $30 million primary health care clinic and ratified a measure making more residents eligible for care at county facilities, the
Sacramento Bee reports. The construction of the new primary care unit received unanimous approval by the board and will be funded by the county's tobacco settlement funds. The clinic could be completed as early as April 2002. The supervisors' second plan reinstated the income eligibility standard for patients at county facilities to match that set by the Medi-Cal program. Officials said that county income restrictions were tightened during the "lean budget years" of the early 1990s. In 1992, the county was faced with a projected $55 million shortfall and decided to decrease the number of residents eligible for care under the program. Under the restrictions, which prompted much criticism and a lawsuit, only individuals eligible for General Assistance were treated. Robert Smith, assistant director of Sacramento County's department of medical systems, reported that care for additional patients will cost the county $1.5 million annually, which will be taken from the general fund (Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 12/13).