Thursday, May 19, 2016

Board of Supervisors: Pilot health program for uninsured needs more public outreach

A six-month report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday regarding a pilot program offering supplemental health services to county residents who are ineligible for health insurance assistance and coverage because they are in the country illegally showed about $36,000 out of a $500,000 budget had been spent to offer services to about 750 participants.
That prompted a call from the supervisors and a representative of the faith-based Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action organization for more public outreach and consideration of an expanded scope of services.
Interim county health director Elsa Jimenez told the board increased outreach efforts are in the works, including on Spanish-language radio talk shows, and there has been discussion about expending covered services.
Started on Nov. 1, the program offers the uninsured access to specific pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services.
Also Tuesday, the supervisors called for completion of negotiations on an Interlake Tunnel project labor agreement, which is apparently stalled over a drug testing policy clause in the proposed agreement that the board approved in principle last month. 
The stalled talks prompted Supervisor Jane Parker to note that influential building trades union wouldn’t support State Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s legislative bid for up to $25 million in state funding for the $76.7 million proposal as long as the agreement remains unfinished.

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