COUNTY-USC MED CENTER: Molina Finds Leverage for Expansion
In an effort to head off a proposed downsizing of County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina yesterday said she would fight the county's effort to renew its "critical billion-dollar federal waiver of Medicaid rules." The move comes one day after legislators slid language into the proposed state budget that would withhold county funds unless supervisors agreed to replace the earthquake damaged 750-bed facility. Molina's abstention from the waiver effort is particularly significant, the Los Angeles Times reports, because she was a key player in 1995 when the five county supervisors teamed up to secure the waiver. Molina, whose push to build a larger hospital stands in direct opposition to the other four supervisors' votes, said that she would reject the waiver renewal until health officials explained "how health care would be provided to uninsured communities near the downsized hospital." Vowing to lobby Washington and Sacramento for answers, Molina said, "I am hopeful we can work in a way" for the waiver application to "meet the needs of the constituents I represent." Health officials and other county supervisors said that Molina's concerns would be addressed by the county Department of Health Services (6/16).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.