Sacramento Bee: Sacramento-Based Community Benefit Programs Say AB 975 Would Threaten Funding For Vital Services

Published: Monday, Apr. 22, 2013 – 1:38 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 22, 2013 —Statewide Coalition Releases New Online Video Demonstrating Impact of Politically-Motivated Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a new online video released today, representatives from two Sacramento-based community benefit programs that receive funding from local non-profit hospitals shared how their patients and clients would be impacted under proposed legislation that threatens charity care funding.

“I think the basic safety net would be devastated,” said Dr. Jonathan Porteus, CEO of WellSpace Health. “What communities need is to transform their safety net into a safety blanket. And most communities like Sacramento County lack a real blanket of care for low-income people. Community benefit is the thing that has helped us build that blanket of care more than anything else.”

WellSpace Health runs the Interim Care Program (ICP), a collaboration of Sacramento hospital systems, community based organizations, and the county government–all of whom have come together to create a respite care program for homeless patients who are discharged from a hospital. The program receives funding from local hospitals and more than 600 patients have been served in this innovative program that has been replicated by other communities and received statewide and national attention.

The ICP is just one of thousands of charity care programs that would be threatened by Assembly Bill 975. Authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), AB 975 would subjectively revoke a hospital’s non-profit status, threatening localtrauma centers, emergency services, burn units, neonatal care, cancer research, and training for health care professionals. The bill creates a “guilty until proven innocent” burden by imposing a vague and uncertain standard to revoke the tax status for certain not-for-profit hospitals that report an operating margin of more than 10 percent.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/10zOIGr

 

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