Sacramento County Weighs Undocumented Patient Care
Sacramento County's Board of Supervisors on Thursday rejected a proposal to stop funding nonurgent care of undocumented immigrants at county clinics, the Sacramento Bee reports.
County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan proposed to transfer funding of the Medically Indigent Services Program to other county programs.
The program will treat between 2,500 and 4,000 undocumented immigrants this year at a cost of $1.4 million to $2.3 million, according to officials.
Undocumented immigrants represent between 5% and 8% of the patient population at the clinics.
Under MacGlashan's proposal, only care for contagious diseases would continue. Treatment for diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure would end, leaving private hospitals to absorb much of the care.
MacGlashan said, "When making fiscal decisions, the needs of legal residents of Sacramento County are -- and should be -- my top priority."
Physicians, health care administrators, medical students and activists all urged county supervisors to continue care.
Some argued that hospitals would pass the cost of treating the displaced patients on to county taxpayers.
Before the proposal could be voted on, another supervisor offered a substitute motion to drop the issue. His motion won majority support from the board (Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 9/14).
Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" on Friday reported on the vote. The segment includes comments from MacGlashan and Supervisor Roger Dickinson (Milne, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 9/14).
A transcript and audio of the segment are available online.