Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Rejects Request To Delay Vote To Close Hospitals, Clinics
Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday said they would not delay an Oct. 29 vote to close Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA medical centers, Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze reports. Supervisor Don Knabe asked the board to delay the vote until Dec. 2 to allow the state and federal governments to have more time to consider plans to provide additional funds for the county's health system (Zahniser, Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/23). The system faces an estimated $750 million budget deficit by 2005, and county officials set an Oct. 29 deadline to decide whether to close Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA, as well as dozens of public health clinics, to balance the budget. The county received a $1.2 billion federal bailout in 1995 and an extension of the funds in 2000, but the bailout funds will expire in 2005 (California Healthline, 10/10). Supervisors said on Tuesday that they could not delay the vote without a "specific commitment" for additional funds from the state or federal government. County health officials planned to meet with representatives from the federal government yesterday. In addition to the decision not to delay the vote, Supervisor Gloria Molina said that passage of Measure B -- a measure on the Nov. 5 county ballot that would raise property taxes to fund the county's trauma care centers and emergency rooms -- would not "save one clinic or one hospital." Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Healthcare Association of Southern California, criticized Molina for "giving voters a reason to reject the measure," Copley/Daily Breeze reports. Lott said that the measure would allow Harbor-UCLA to remain open (Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/23).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.