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California Counties Having Hard Time With Federal Healthcare Legislation

Ninety days have passed since Congress approved healthcare legislation, with many of those policies taking effect in 2014. That means the next several years will be what the White House calls “a bridge period.” For most California counties, it’s going to be a tough few years.

The White House might call it a bridge period, but some county officials make it sound more like they are clinging to a life raft in stormy waters en route to Health Care Island. Declining tax revenues mean almost every county, from Alameda to Yolo, has cut back on indigent health care services, whether it’s senior home care or doctors visits for the children of undocumented workers.

Yolo Assistant County administrator Pat Leary says she’s waiting for the federal aid that will help cover low income residents in 2014.

"Not just to hand off the baton and wash our hands of it, and say thank goodness that’s no longer our problem," said Leary. "It’s what do we want this to look like in 2014."

And many California counties, like Yolo, are asking for Federal money to figure out how what they’re supposed to do before the full law takes effect.

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