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Board of Health to vote on 2014 budget—and will face more cuts

July 3, 2013

TACOMA, WA - At its July 3 meeting, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Board of Health will consider adopting a 2014 budget that implements an additional $1.67 million in reductions to the Department's bottom line.

The cut, which is on top of the $1.6 million cut the Department took when it amended its 2013 budget in May, is also the result of changes to the Title XIX Medicaid Administrative Match federal funding formula. It would take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

In the past, the Department received Title XIX funds to provide services to low-income people who receive Medicaid. Because of disagreement and ongoing negotiations between the state and the federal government, the Department has not been reimbursed for these services since July of 2012.

"In good faith, we have continued to provide services to vulnerable people in Pierce County, but we have not been paid," said Director Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. "A bureaucratic dispute between the federal government and the state is needlessly cutting off services to people who need them."

The Board's vote on Wednesday will not address additional changes the Department will need to make to its 2013 budget. In a June 14 letter, the federal government denied the state's most recent proposal for Title XIX reimbursement. This means the Department will not be paid indefinitely and will face an additional loss of $2.26 million of Title XIX funds in 2013. Statewide, local health jurisdictions will lose $17 million.

If the federal government and the state do not reach a resolution on Title XIX reimbursement by the end of July, the Department will have to implement additional cuts to its 2013 budget.

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager, (253) 798-2853,
Nancy Sutton, Deputy Director, (253) 798-2951,

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's mission is to safeguard and enhance the health of the communities of Pierce County. As part of its mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. Learn more at

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