Assembly Bills Could Help Financially Ailing Trauma Centers, Los Angeles Times Says
California's "ailing" trauma centers are "hemorrhaging money" and "need help before they reach the lights-out equivalent of the energy crisis," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. The editorial notes that the 10 private facilities in Los Angeles County that contract with the county to provide trauma care lost $17 million last year. Although counties statewide are "being asked to do more and more with less and less funding," the editorial says that two bills sponsored by Assembly members Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks) and Helen Thomson (D-Davis), AB 686 and AB 687, could help. AB 686 would appropriate a $50 million fund that counties would split to keep the trauma care "safety net stitched together for another year," while AB 687 would create a statewide plan for providing trauma care. The editorial notes that the CDC earlier this year "chastised" the state for lacking such a plan. While some legislators say the energy crisis is "strain[ing]" the budget and that "this year is not the year" for new spending plans, the editorial concludes: "If only there were a big new plan to fix California's health care problems in their entirety. These measures would just keep the lights on in trauma centers across the state. Californians surely expect no less" (Los Angeles Times, 6/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.