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Insurer Shields Clinics From Budget Crunch

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Health Net of California Inc. says it is providing more than $5 million in no-interest loans to 12 California clinics to keep them open during the state’s budget crisis.

The loans will support clinics in the Central Valley region that otherwise would have had to close or cut back staff, according to Health Net of California, a unit of Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif.

The California state government does not plan to fund health clinics until state lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R, negotiate a budget agreement.

State officials expect funding to resume once a budget agreement is in place.