Viewpoint: Loans to reopen Madera County Hospital deserve support

The Fresno Bee editorial board is supporting California AB 412, a bill that would provide loans to reopen the shuttered Madera County (Calif.) Hospital, in an April 17 opinion piece.

The bill would create the Distressed Hospital Loan Program, which would provide loans to nonprofit hospitals in financial distress. The program would run through 2031.

To get a loan, hospitals must submit a plan outlining how the money would help them return to financial viability.

Lawmakers will debate the measure in the coming days. Esmeralda Soria, the state representative for Madera County, co-wrote the bill.

"The loan program proposed by Ms. Soria is a solution that could provide immediate relief to struggling hospitals," the Bee wrote. "The [Central] Valley's lawmakers should get behind it and convince their colleagues in Sacramento to do the same. Madera County should not be without a hospital — nor should any community in California."

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