Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So what's your point, Mr. de Leon? that government should treat rural people differently for purposes of health care?

From today's Sacramento Bee, page A3:
I'm not from a rural area, I don't represent a rural area, I don't often go into rural areas.
Spoken by California Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, in debating whether to cut Medi-Cal payments to rural hospitals.

No story accompanied this quote, under the heading "Worth Repeating." I can only assume he favors the cuts to these places from which he seems at great pains to distance himself ... So would he also favor cuts to urban hospitals?

De Leon's repeated use of "rural place" as literally (and perhaps also metaphorically) removed certainly suggests rural as other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should judge for yourself what Mr. De Leon's point was. Below is the transcript of his exchange with the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst Office on the impact of Medi-Cal rate reductions for rural hospitals.

It's too bad the Bee choose to use the quote without providing readers any context.

Dan Reeves
Chief of Staff
Assemblymember Kevin de Leon

June 8th 2008, Budget Conference Committee DVD 1

At approx 25 mins

KDL: I think we want to make intelligent smart cuts and I know this is not a republican issue, this is a bipartisan issue with regards to folks who live in the rural areas. Question to DOF or LAO or whoever is best qualified to answer this statement: if in fact this exemption is taken away from these rural hospitals, what will happen? Not ‘sorta’ we kinda’ believe’ or ‘we are going to extrapolate x,y, and z from x,y and z study.’ What will happen to these rural hospitals if this exemption is lifted?


KDL: Everyone is looking at each other.

Department of Finance (answer): - Well, I, I, umm……I think ummm what we can tell you is that this reduction was in fact for a period of months last year and we can tell you that some of these hospitals have umm are in a really challenging financial situation. What exactly will happen will depend on a case by case uh situation on decisions made by administrators in those hospitals on their determinations relative to contracting with the medi-cal program. It’s hard to say what will happen based on the fact that we don’t run the facilities in question.

KDL: Let me ask you this question; let me better state it: I’m not from a rural area, I don’t live in a rural area, I don’t often go into rural areas….

Audience: laughter

KDL: so that being said…

Unknown member (interrupts): you outa visit

KDL: I will visit some time soon, I’m gonna go up north.

That being said, if a hospital falls into bankruptcy and that being geographically you know mileage wise its very difficult for folks to get to a hospital, what will that…..will that force folks who live in rural areas to go much farther out to get emergency treatment care, what have you etc, etc.