California´s 26 public hospitals say they´re facing a revenue shortfall of at least $3 billion over the next five years. They say the number of uninsured patients is growing, and the government is giving them less support.
The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems says the shortfall could mean that millions of Californians who have no insurance could lose their access to health care. Public hospitals absorb more than half of the cost of treating the more than six million Californians who lack health insurance.
The hospitals´ expenses have increased 53% since 1995 but revenue hasn´t kept up. In 2007 the gap between revenue and expenses is expected to top $1 billion.