State Health Funds Give Low Share to Riverside, San Bernardino Counties
Riverside and San Bernardino counties receive less state funding per capita for programs that provide health care services to low-income populations than most other counties in California, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Sales tax and vehicle license fees provide the funding for California's health and mental health realignment money. The state distributes the funds among counties using a 20-year old formula that lawmakers have not adjusted for demographic changes.
In fiscal year 2006-2007, the state distributed $2.8 billion for health care for low-income residents.
Riverside County ranked 57th out of California's 58 counties for the amount of state funding it received, at $45.24 per capita. San Bernardino County ranked 52nd, receiving $57.05 per capita. The state median was $75.75 per capita.
Advocates, county officials and health care providers say the state realignment funds are insufficient to meet health care needs in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
However, observers say California lawmakers are unlikely to take up the issue in the near future, particularly amid declining revenue from sales tax and vehicle license fees.Meanwhile, more low-income people are seeking care from public hospitals such as Riverside County Regional Medical Center and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino County (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/23). 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.