Editorial Supports Los Angeles County Decision To End Care for Indigent Residents of Other Counties
Stating that Los Angeles County's former policy allowing indigent patients not living in the county to receive free, non-emergency care at county hospitals was a "moral choice" but an "unaffordable one," a Los Angeles Times editorial voices support for the county Board of Supervisors' vote last week to end the policy (Los Angeles Times, 6/7). Under the plan, scheduled to take effect in October, uninsured individuals who seek care at county facilities must present government-issued identification that includes their address or present some other proof of residency, such as a utility bill. County facilities will continue to provide care to homeless individuals and undocumented immigrants (California Healthline, 6/6). According to the Times, "The root cause [of Los Angeles County's health care crisis] is the millions of Californians -- of Americans -- without health insurance." The editorial adds, "The county may not have the authority to force its neighbors to take back their own uninsured, but by refusing to take up the slack, it sends a message to Sacramento and Washington that this crisis demands a state and federal solution," concluding, "It is not one that can be solved by shuffling poor people from one county to another" (Los Angeles Times, 6/7).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.