Health Care Legislation Could Be A Mixed Blessing For L.A.

Health Care Legislation Could Be A Mixed Blessing For L.A.

Passage of President Obama's health care package over the weekend could mean health insurance coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans, but it might not mean much for L.A.'s big, public hospitals.

An official at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, which runs County-USC Medical Center and treats 700,000 patients a year countywide, told the Wall Street Journal the bill will not be a boon for our L.A.'s vast public system because it will not include illegal immigrants in its expansion of insurance coverage. The county's costs for treating the uninsured -- many of them undocumented -- totaled $22 million in a recent year, the paper states.

In fact the final language of the health care package will actually cut federal aid to large, urban, public hospitals, according to the journal. The result could actually be less health care, not more, for the urban poor.

"We believe a number of people will fall through the cracks," Carol Meyer, chief of operations for county health department, told the Journal.

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