Contra Costa County, Calif., Approves $1.5 Million in Funding for Clinics Expecting Boost in Patients, Particularly Undocumented Immigrants
Contra Costa County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a one-time use of $1.5 million from reserve funds to help county clinics sustain an expected increase in new patients, many of whom will likely be undocumented immigrants, the Contra Costa Times reports (Gafni, Contra Costa Times, 4/21).
Earlier this month, supervisors approved a plan to close a $50 million budget deficit in part by eliminating nonemergency medical services for adult undocumented immigrants. Supervisors are hoping to save $6 million by eliminating nonemergency services for undocumented adult immigrants (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 4/2). Clinic officials expect about 5,500 undocumented adult immigrants to turn to the clinics for medical services.
The funding could cover three primary care visits annually for each person affected by the recent budget cuts. Board Chair Susan Bonilla said, "It's a one-time expense, but I want it to be more than plugging a hole and instead offering a solution," adding, "We have a problem with health care here in the county. We have a very fragile health care system."
Supervisor John Gioia also asked the health services director to meet with clinics and county hospitals to develop a sustainability funding program within six months (Contra Costa Times, 4/21).