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Late Budget Causing Problems for Health Care Providers

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

One health care provider in danger of closing is accusing lawmakers of criminal negligence for not passing a spending plan.

Charles Guenther is CEO of Eastern Plumas Health Care in northern California.

He says the legislature's failure to act under the circumstances providers face is negligent.

He and representatives of other hospitals and clinics rallied at the Capitol last week.

They begged lawmakers to pass a budget -- now more than two months late.  Without one, the state can't pay providers who treat patients on California's low-income health care program.

Guenther says his company will begin closing facilities in two to three weeks... and that will be a blow to the region's economy.

Guenther: We are the largest employer in the region. And if the hospital closes, more and more people will walk away from their mortgages and create an utter depression for decades to come.

He says the state currently owes the company more than one-million dollars in back payments.

Employees are pitching in... and the C-F-O of the company used his credit card to pay last month's electric bill.

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