Santa Clara County Official Critical of Federal Medi-Cal Agreement
"[H]ospitals, counties, legislators and health care advocates do not agree" with Health and Human Service Agency Secretary Kim Belshé's statements about an agreement with the federal government for Medi-Cal funding, Robert Sillen, the executive director of the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System, writes in response to a July 22 San Jose Mercury News opinion piece by Belshé. Sillen writes that the proposed agreement "fails to meet the administration's and the hospitals' shared goal of stabilizing the safety net."
Sillen notes that "Belshé's claim that the agreement will generate $3.3 billion in new federal funding cannot be verified." Sillen writes that the deal "freezes public hospitals funding for five years," adding, "That amounts to a cut in today's environment of rising health care costs."
Sillen maintains that the agreement is a "major policy change to protect the federal and state budgets at the expense of the counties and institutions that serve on the front lines of the state's health care crisis." He concludes, "At the end of the day, the hardest-hit will be the patients and communities that rely on the safety net. That is no victory" (Sillen, San Jose Mercury News, 8/2).