COUNTY-USC MEDICAL CENTER: Compromise On The Horizon
In a compromise that may bring to a close "one of the state's most heated political battles," the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and state legislators are nearing an agreement on the reconstruction of the County-USC Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new plan calls for a scaled back, 600-bed facility to be constructed at the County-USC site, with a smaller satellite facility to go up in "the San Gabriel Valley community of Baldwin Park." Supervisor Gloria Molina, who proposed the compromise plan, said, "This opportunity to build a San Gabriel Valley hospital is a really good one. That's what it's all about anyway. It's not about building beds; it's about how do we serve the community." The compromise, may end the "three-year stalemate" between state lawmakers, who wanted to force the construction of a 750-bed facility, and the supervisors, the majority of whom had pushed for a 600-bed facility, arguing that a larger one would be too costly. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, an initial proponent of the smaller facility, has come around to the compromise. "I think everybody is supportive of the concept of a small satellite hospital in the San Gabriel Valley," he said, adding, "It's an idea that has merit." Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) cautiously signaled his approval, noting that he would continue to advocate that the number of beds between the two facilities total 750. "Every study has indicated the need for 750 beds," he said, "I wouldn't be supportive of 25 less." The two sides must agree on the hospitals' exact sizes and the source of funding. If, "as expected," the proposal requires state funding, Gov. Gray Davis' approval would also be required (Riccardi/Gold, 7/27).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.