Supervisors Approve HIV Testing

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The Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a federally financed grant adding $869,172 to an existing Orange County program for a new HIV testing program.

The board acted without discussion. A three-member majority has adopted a policy of voting against any grants that include funds from the national health law, which opponents call “Obamacare.”

There was a question before the vote as to whether the grant included any money from the national healthcare reform law. The board has made it a point to vote against any program that can be tied to what they and other opponents call “Obamacare.”

On Tuesday state Department of Public Health spokesman Ralph Montano told Voice of OC the AIDS grant included “zero dollars” from the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, which is the official name of the law.

Last month the supervisors agreed to a $333,000 increase to the AIDS contract.

In August, the board voted to accept an $880,528 state Department of Public Health grant to expand HIV testing. The grant was federally financed, and the county staff report stated about 7 percent or $4.3 million of the $60 million spent nationally on the programs came via the healthcare reform law. The vote Tuesday was an expansion of that grant.

In June, the board voted 3-2 to reject $10 million in federal anti-smoking, anti-obesity and other health program funds because the money came from the health law. They turned down another $40,000 last month. In both cases, Supervisors Bill Campbell and Janet Nguyen split with their fellow Republicans and voted for the grants.

— TRACY WOOD

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