Rosemarie and J.C. Fremont Healthcare District

When the State of California was having budget problems a few years ago, they decided to cut Medi-Cal funding by 30% for Distinct Part Skilled Nursing Facilities that provide long term care, such as the Ewing Wing of J.C. Fremont Hospital. Although the hospitals challenged the legality of the cuts, the courts ultimately decided that the budget cuts were legal, and that not only would funding for such facilities be cut by 30%, but that the cuts would be retroactive to 2011. This meant that not only would the Ewing Wing take in 30% less for the same services on an ongoing basis, but that it would owe the state 30% of the payments received since 2011 or over $1,000,000 in what were called recoupment payments. This would no doubt have meant closing the Ewing wing and the Healthcare District Board feared that if the Ewing Wing closed, the rest of the Healthcare District might well fail financially as well. Of course this problem was not unique to Mariposa County, and would have likely meant the closure of many other rural hospitals across the state, thus putting intense pressure on any remaining facilities.

When Rosemarie heard of this problem, she realized that it would require more than local fundraising efforts to save the Healthcare District. What was needed was to work within the political system to restore the funding. Rosemarie was in an excellent position to do as she was serving as the Mariposa County Executive Board Member to the State Democratic Party.

To get the Party to restore funding, she interviewed hospital board members in Mariposa and other counties to get the facts straight, as well as hospital trade associations and others familiar with the scope of the problem. She discovered that In human terms, the situation was very bleak, as approximately 30% of patients transferred to a remote skilled nursing facility die compared to those remaining in their hometown where family and friends could visit.

As part of serving as the Mariposa County Executive Board Member to the State Democratic Party, Rosemarie wrote a resolution asking the State to restore the funding. Getting a resolution to pass at the State Democratic Convention, however, requires support from as many other County Democratic organizations as possible. Rosemarie spent weeks calling and emailing Democratic County organizations from around the State, educated them about the problem and secured their support for the restoration of the funding. Rosemarie also worked with the State Party Resolutions Committee staff to thoroughly document all the facts presented in the resolution.

Resolutions Committee

At the California Democratic Party State convention in April 2013, Rosemarie, sitting alone at the table in the middle of the room, presented her resolution to the Resolutions Committee. Her resolution passed (1 of 14 out of 85 presented).

Rally with MDs

Once the resolution passed the work was just beginning and Rosemarie attended a Healthcare Rally in Sacramento aimed at convincing the State legislature to overturn the healthcare funding cuts.


She met with hospital and healthcare associations and her resolution was used by these industry associations to convince legislators to overturn the budget cuts. Rosemarie spoke directly in person to Darrel Steinberg, then Senate President pro Tem about restoring funding to the Skilled Nursing facilities and got his assurance that help was on the way.

Rosemarie is quoted in an article on the funding cuts in the Mariposa Gazette and her role recognized in another rural paper here. There is little doubt that her efforts went a long way to saving the Healthcare District from financial ruin by leading the fight within the State Democratic Party to restore critical Medi-Cal funding.