Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Votes To Continue Medical Subsidy for County Retirees
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors last week voted 3-2 to maintain a monthly medical subsidy for more than 5,800 retired county workers, giving the retirees a "free pass" through the board's process of considering funding reductions to offset a $49 million county budget deficit, the Sacramento Bee reports. The board will have to reduce its discretionary budget by 75% to eliminate the deficit without increasing taxes or implementing new fees for county programs. Maintaining the medical subsidy "pushed the county deeper into debt," removing $2 million from the discretionary budget that could have been used to maintain funding for a program that provides services to people with developmental disabilities, a pediatric clinic or a program that provides meals to homebound senior citizens, according to the Bee. "Everybody else who comes before us has a good cause," Supervisor Roger Dickinson, who voted in favor of maintaining the subsidy, said, adding, "But I'm persuaded that we owe this to our retirees who have worked so long and hard for the residents of Sacramento County." Supervisor Muriel Johnson, who voted against continuing the subsidy, said that she was "shocked" by the vote and told retirees at the hearing, "We didn't have you help us share the pain" of funding cuts (Jahn, Sacramento Bee, 3/22).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.