LA County-s healthcare is in critical condition and it-s about to get worse. Since 1995, a federal waiver has allowed the County to write off the cost of treating the indigent and the uninsured. That Clinton-era waiver, which is about to run out, could leave a deficit of more than $ 700 million in the next three years. President Bush lost big in this state, and it-s been reported that his administration is unlikely to renew that federal largess. Medical traffic jams are expected to spread, with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center possibly next to close. We hear about the proposed changes, their potentially disastrous consequences and the prospects of extending a federal bailout, from those at the helm of LA County and state health services, and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Newsmaker: LA Supervisors Hold Hearing on Healthcare Closures
With insufficient funding to care for Southern California-s uninsured, LA County wants to save $ 57 million by closing 11 of 18 clinics and converting one Antelope Valley hospital into an outpatient facility. We hear more about the consequences of hospital and clinic closures from Norm Hickling of the High Desert Hospital Advisory Council, who testified against his the changes and Mark Haefle who covered the hearing for the LA Weekly.
LA County Board of Supervisor's Hearing