Four of the five conservatives on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors put aside their personal views about the national Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare and voted Tuesday to have staff explore whether the county should apply to become a regional call center on health care benefits under the federal law. The potential could be as many as 140 jobs.
Supervisor Jim DeMartini, a leader of county Republicans, said the county should only be going after private sector jobs. That's shortsighted, and we're glad that his narrow, partisan perspective won't block the county from looking into this economic development possibility.
Stanislaus is one of only three counties that expressed interest in operating the call center to handle health insurance applications, according to Christine Applegate, director of the county Community Services Agency. There will be three centers in California one in Sacramento, one in Southern California and a hybrid state-county state center. Stanislaus would apply to be the hybrid. Applegate suggested Stanislaus may have an edge because of its experience with a customer service center that already helps people applying for Medi-Cal, Cal Fresh and CalWORKS.