Alameda County Coalition Urges Gov. To Preserve Local Health Funding After Medi-Cal Expands

OAKLAND (KCBS)— An Alameda County supervisor and health care advocates are urging Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators to preserve local health care safety net funding.

Medi-Cal expands January 1st under the federal Affordable Care Act, but Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said not everyone in Alameda County will benefit.

Gov. Brown would like to redirect funding as the state implements the Affordable Care Act, but Chan spoke Tuesday in Oakland to make her plea.

“We have 60,000 undocumented who live in the county who don’t qualify for any programs under the ACA and we have another 40,000, conservatively that we estimate, who just won’t sign up,” she said.

Director of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Alex Briscoe said just because the state will provide care that used to be supplied by the county, doesn’t mean the county will need less money.

“One of the hardest things to reconcile in the governor’s proposal is the assumption that the funding that was coming to the county was sufficient to begin with,” Briscoe said.

H.D. Palmer with the California Department of Finance said the state will work with counties on funding formulas as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.

“We the state are going to take on greater responsibility, at that greater risk, that greater cost of insuring the uninsured and that’s going to mean significant savings to county governments who are currently providing a lot of those benefits,” Palmer said.

Given the improving state budget picture, county officials would also like to see the restoration of Medi-Cal adult dental benefits.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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