In an apparent about-face, the Peninsula Health Care District has approved $4.6 million in funding for a San Mateo County program that provides health care for uninsured, low-income adults.
The move follows a Bay Citizen investigation in March, which found that the taxpayer-supported district had rejected a request from the San Mateo County Health System last year for a $4 million grant to help the uninsured. At the time, the district had a $43 million reserve of current public assets.
The grant represents a large increase in funding for public health programs by the district. Last year, it spent 3.3 percent of its total assets – or $1.8 million – on health-related grants.
The district awarded the grant Thursday, after facing sharp criticism from state and local lawmakers for failing to provide enough funding for local health programs.
Daniel Ullyot, chairman of the board of the Peninsula Health Care District, said in a telephone interview Friday that the district approved the recent grant because it was comprehensive and detailed, unlike the county’s previous proposal.