Los Angeles County Supervisors Formally Agree To Delay Vote To Close Two UCLA Medical Centers
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally agreed to delay until Jan. 21, 2003, a vote on whether to convert Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA medical centers to outpatient facilities to help cover a budget deficit in the county's health system, the Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze reports (Zahniser, Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze, 11/20). The system faces an estimated $750 million budget deficit by 2005, and supervisors had planned to vote on Oct. 29 whether the close the medical centers. However, they delayed the vote until Nov. 19 to wait for the results of Measure B -- a ballot measure passed by voters on Nov. 5 that will raise property taxes to fund the county's trauma care centers and emergency rooms -- and a Nov. 6 meeting with CMS Administrator Tom Scully to discuss federal assistance (California Healthline, 11/14). Supervisors voted 4-0 to delay the vote in the hope that the state and federal governments will provide additional funds for the county's health system. Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky on Monday met with Gov. Gray Davis (D) to "seek a financial solution the county's health care crisis." A spokesperson for Davis said that the governor and supervisors are "close to finalizing a plan to present to the federal government." The county had requested $1.4 billion in federal funds over the next five years, but with the passage of Measure B, the request "could be reduced by half," the Daily Breeze reports (Copley/Torrance Daily Breeze, 11/20).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.