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California’s Safety Net Health Centers Seeing More Low-Income Patients, Less State Funding

California’s safety net health care clinics are seeing an influx of patients at the same time that they are experiencing dramatic funding losses.

This summer’s budget revision package cut funding for community medical centers, HIV/AIDS programs and in-home care. Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, also ended coverage for dental, vision and podiatry services.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Mina Kim, experts discussed the mounting burden on safety net health clinics.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of the California Primary Care Association;
  • Melissa Stafford Jones, president and CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems; and
  • William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services.

Experts say national health care reform legislation could help more low-income Californians access medical care.

Others say the state might not be able to contribute enough funds to boost Medi-Cal reimbursements or implement other reforms (Kim, California Healthline, 11/19).

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