LA battles to beat a $1bn budget deficit
Monday 31 July 1995
The reality in Los Angeles County is that it can no longer afford health care for millions of poor and uninsured residents.
The health care system - the nation's second largest - accounts for $655m of the deficit and appeals for $300m in financial assistance from the state government and from Washington have failed to exact any firm commitment so far.
"There's no doubt the problem is significant, and it's a structural problem," says Elizabeth Hill, a county analyst. "It represents a massive budget problem."
Under a new $11.1bn budget plan, county supervisors have proposed to cut the county's deficit by closing USC Medical Center, the county's largest hospital, and public amenities such as health clinics, parks and libraries, with the loss of 2,500 jobs. The losses, which were due to come into effect today, have been reprieved until next week by a Superior Court judge.
"The best scenario is miserable and the worst scenario is disastrous," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky of alternative proposals to close clinics, reduce hospital staffing, reduce preventive care and cut public health programs.
With no end to the crisis in sight, Wall Street bond rating agencies, which have been presented with a borrowing plan, have warned that a reliance on one-time budget fixes would damage the county's credit rating.
The problems of Los Angeles County will not be alleviated by the faint recovery of the California's $850bn economy. While tourism, movies and technology are growing, improvements in key areas have failed to materialise, notably the real estate market and farming. Closure of 22 military bases and defense contractors has already cost the state 300,000 jobs since 1988.
California's proposed 1995-96 budget does virtually nothing to help LA County. Governor Pete Wilson has proposed a significant cut in welfare and an injection of $1bn for education, an extra $40m for abortions and as much as $170m for various family planning programs.
"The chickens have come home to roost after several years of band-aid fixes," said Senator Tom Hayden.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...