Sacramento, San Bernardino Counties Address Health-Related Issues
The Sacramento and San Bernardino county Boards of Supervisors recently addressed health-related issues. Summaries appear below.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday delayed until Feb. 7 a vote to renew a health insurance supplement county retirees have received for 25 years, the Sacramento Bee reports (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 2/1).
The supplement is provided to about 5,700 county retirees at an annual cost of about $14 million and needs to be renewed annually.
Some supervisors have questioned whether taxpayers should subsidize retirees, as the county faces a $48 million deficit in fiscal year 2007-2008 and the benefit was never promised to employees.
According to in-house staff reports, the county intends to maintain the supplement at its current level, but plans to phase out the program for younger workers and begin negotiating with unions to create health savings accounts for retirees (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 1/31).
The health insurance supplement for county retirees has "been hard to justify" as "the county has gone into debt to pay soaring retirement costs," a Bee editorial states, adding, "The issue should be taken up during the county's upcoming budget debate" so that "funding retiree health care can be weighed against other funding needs" (Sacramento Bee, 1/31).
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday in a formal response called an interim grand jury report on air-ambulance services flawed, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The report, released Nov. 10, criticized the county for accepting campaign contributions from Mercy Air -- the county's sole air-ambulance service -- while denying a permit to California City Air Ambulance, based in Kern County.
The county's response calls for California City to be moved higher on the mutual-aid lists in order to quicken response times in two High Desert corridors (Gang, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/1).