California officials have determined that the state will not receive enough federal stimulus funds to reverse $54 million in cuts to public hospitals and some benefits to 3 million adult Medicaid patients.
On Feb. 20, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget bill that allowed for certain healthcare, education and infrastructure cuts, provided the state received less than $10 billion in general funds through June 2010 from the federal stimulus package. After analysis, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and other officials determined that the state will receive $8.2 billion in federal stimulus dollarsshort of the trigger that would have reversed the cuts.
The cuts include $54 million for the Safety Net Care Pool, which helps pay for hospital care for the uninsured. California's safety net hospitals have said this funding is crucial, especially amid rising unemployment.
Its unimaginable to us that California policymakers would cut funds to public hospitalswhich together provide nearly half the hospital care to the uninsuredat a time when these institutions are caring for so many more patients, Melissa Stafford Jones, president and CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, said in a written statement.