Having attended the Board of Supervisors hearing, I was amazed at your headline and copy ("County Will Use Grant to Aid Poor," Feb. 24). The board does not deserve to be commended for its action.
The state gave $6.1 million of unallocated health-care system support to Orange County for its discretionary use. The Orange County Medical Assn., the Hospital Council and the United Way urged that most of the money go to support the indigent medical services program. We met with the board members, presented our position in writing and testified directly.
After the brief opportunity to speak, the supervisors proceeded to an exercise in self-laudatory praise. They credited themselves for the partnership for health as it exists in the indigent medical services program.
The truth is that no partnership exists. The state funds the program at a major level of deficiency. Physicians receive 37% of their billed charges. Hospitals receive 28%. The program is 5 years old--the county has not contributed a nickel. This was obviously an exercise of political hallucination.