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State Budget Impasse Puts Community Clinics Under the Gun

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Aired 4/19/09

The State of California says it can't afford to make Medi-Cal payments to community clinics until a new budget is approved. Officials say an emergency fund used to cover Medi-Cal costs has run out of money. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

State lawmakers missed their July 1st deadline to pass a budget, and there's no deal in sight. That means the state won't send out Medi-Cal payments to community clinics, hospitals, or group homes.

Tracy Ream runs Neighborhood Healthcare . Her group operates eleven clinics in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

Tracy Ream: We're going to have to rely on the savings that we have and do that for at least a while, and we're also looking at options for different loans.

Ream says this temporary financing is only sustainable for a few months. Other clinics that don't have reserves or lines of credit may have to reduce their hours or layoff staff.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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