Advocates, Los Angeles County Officials Protest State Budget Cuts
On Thursday, nurses, politicians and union leaders rallied at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to protest state budget cuts to health care programs, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 6/19).
L.A. Health Action, a not-for-profit group, said state budget cuts would force 60,000 children to lose health care coverage.
The group said the proposed 10% reduction in Medi-Cal payments to health care providers will cost the county health care system almost $50 million. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19).
Together, public and private hospitals in Los Angeles County could lose an estimated $189 million if the Medi-Cal payment cuts take effect as scheduled on July 1, according to Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California.
Lott said physicians already are reducing the number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries they treat, a move that will increase the number of patients who seek care in hospital emergency departments.
Lott said there are 75 hospitals with EDs in the county, but the Daily News reports that three public hospitals with EDs provide one-third of all emergency care for residents (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/19).