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Gov. Deukmejian's Cuts on Health and School Funds

August 02, 1987

Gov. George Deukmejian recent Gov. George Deukmejian recently wrote to The Times (Letters, July 17) that it is not the state's responsibility to provide for emergency medical care for its citizens, claiming that counties initiated the trauma care network. The fact is that the state authorized California's network in 1983.

It is also a fact that trauma centers would not need state aid if the governor hadn't repeatedly cut funds for medical services for the poor. Statewide, trauma centers lost over $70 million last year because of this under-funding.

Because of the governor's unwillingness to adequately fund medical care for the poor (vetoing $240 million this year alone), hospitals have been forced to cut some of their losses by increasing costs to paying patients, thus resulting in increased insurance rates for employers and employees. Furthermore, as hospitals reach the point where there are no alternatives, they are forced to close their doors to trauma victims--reducing the safety net for rich and poor alike.

Meanwhile, the governor is sitting on $2.1 billion in extra state revenues.

Yes, governor, trauma centers shouldn't need direct state aid, but the state has mandated that hospitals care for indigent patients and then has refused to provide adequate reimbursement for this cost. While you engage in this bureaucratic finger pointing, lives are being lost.


California Assembly

Speaker Pro Tempore

D-Los Angeles

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