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Gann Amendment Cited in Suit Over Health Care for the Poor

November 02, 1987|From Times Wire Services

OAKLAND — Claiming that the state is violating the spirit of the Gann Amendment approved by voters in 1979, attorneys have filed a class-action suit in Superior Court here, asking that the state and Alameda County be required to provide health services to those who cannot afford to pay for necessary medical treatment.

Steven Schear of the East Oakland Community Law Office said Friday that the suit affects thousands of poor people in the county and could affect 500,000 statewide. Schear said that because of a financial crisis, the Legislature mandated in 1983 that thousands of people, mostly the working poor, be dropped from Medi-Cal rolls and that counties start providing for their health care.

Attorney Lois Salisbury said that by this year, the state was giving counties not even half the money it would have been spending had the patients stayed on Medi-Cal.

Schear said Alameda County alone needs $20 million a year more to provide the care.

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