Sierra Sun Times

California State Treasurer To Provide $20 million in Emergency Grants for Imperiled Community and Planned Parenthood Clinics.

June 20, 2017

Fact Sheet: Community Clinic Lifeline Grant Program

State Treasurer John Chiang will provide $20 million in one-time emergency grants to support community clinics that provide vital health services to California’s most vulnerable residents.

The Community Clinic Lifeline Grant Program will help small or rural nonprofit clinics, including Planned Parenthood clinics, keep their doors open and provide critical services as lawmakers work to address the potential losses in health care funds due to threatened federal actions such as repealing the Affordable Health Care and eliminating funding for essential women’s health and preventative services.

“These community clinics that nobly serve the poorest patients in our state could be forced to shutter their doors if President Trump and Congressional Republicans are successful at replacing Obamacare with their Wealthcare and denying access to basic health services to women and children.” Chiang said. “Here in California, we do not turn our backs to those in need. We will provide a helping hand to make sure men, women, children and undocumented immigrants continue to have access to the basic health care services they require.”

Washington is poised to slash budgets for a range of programs, such as family planning and preventative services, maternal and child health programs and Medicaid. President Trump’s budget proposal would prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from participating in any federally funded health program.

"The program will provide reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood a line of defense against the persistent attacks waged by Congress and the President,” said Kathy Kneer, CEO, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

The funding for this new grant program comes from principle and interest payments that have accrued the last 15 to 20 years in the Treasurer’s Help II Loan Program. The Help II Loan Program provides low- interest rate loans to California’s nonprofit small or rural health clinics for facilities and equipment.

The grants will support core operations to allow clinics to continue providing care to their patients as they develop long-term plans to deal with the loss of federal funding.

Any licensed nonprofit small or rural primary care clinic in a medically underserved area that is at risk of cutting services or closing because of adverse federal actions will be eligible for a one-time grant up to $250,000.

“We applaud the Treasurer, and the Legislature, for recognizing the value provided by community health centers and ensuring that they’ll be able to keep their doors open by providing emergency funding,” said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President and CEO of CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates. “We must continue to protect California’s most vulnerable populations – particularly in underserved areas – and the Lifeline Grant Program is a necessary investment.”

Today, community clinics provide basic services to one out of seven Californians, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Tearing apart this important safety net would have enormous consequences, leaving our most vulnerable residents, including women, children and undocumented immigrants, with no access to primary and preventative care and no option for treatment other than costly emergency visits,” Chiang said.

The Treasurer partnered with Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, on getting legislation approved to enact the grant program.

Below are quotes from each lawmaker:

“With more than 6 million Californians getting their health care from community and rural clinics, they are more important than ever to the health of our people and our economy. As the GOP Congress and President Trump threaten to destroy our Medicaid system and safety net, we continue working to find ways to care for our most vulnerable Californians.”

--State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento

“As the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, I commend my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Brown for agreeing to a budget that creates a strong infrastructure of Health care delivery to underserved areas in our state.”

--Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee

“In many rural communities, non-profit clinics are often the only source of health care services for low-income residents. In areas like those I represent in the Central Valley, the health care safety net system is struggling to keep up with all of the health care demands.  Congress’ proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the associated loss in federal funds will only further stress the system.  This program will help non-profit clinics keep their doors open while we wait to see what the federal government does with health care funding.”

--Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno