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Los Angeles County's initial reaction to governor's May revise budget

Posted: May 14, 2013 2:54 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2013 2:54 p.m.
 

Los Angeles County has over 2.2 million uninsured residents. A recent University of California study estimates that as many as 1.3 million of our them will remain uninsured after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

We are extremely pleased to see the Governor embrace state-based expansion of Medi-Cal.

We also very much appreciate the Governor’s recognition that measuring actual, on the ground experience, must be the basis for determining any cost and savings arrangement with the State. We agree.

However, the Governor is proposing to link health reform implementation to prematurely taking significant funding from LA County, and other large public hospital systems throughout the state.

To be clear, the Governor’s proposal will undermine LA County’s effort to implement the ACA and the ability to provide essential health services to those who will remain uninsured.

He is proposing to immediately take $300 million from counties, $900 million in 2014-15 and then $1.3 billion in 2015-16, without sufficient data to justify those cuts, and despite the fact that the Medi-Cal expansion is fully paid for by the federal government for the first three years and at no less than 90% thereafter.

The Department of Finance continues to incorrectly assume that all counties will realize significant and immediate savings.

The Governor’s proposal will leave LA County’s public hospital system with no ability to invest in local health care services for all community residents at a time when the public safety-net’s role is critical to ensuring the success of reform.

We are committed to continuing to work with the Governor and the Legislature on an approach that accurately reflects the local impacts of reform.

ACA implementation must move forward in a way that does not negatively impact our ability to effectively serve our patients, including those that will remain uninsured after 2014.

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