Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe called this week for the County, its unions and partners to begin development of a marketing campaign to educate the public about the County’s health system in advance of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in January 2014.
Since its passing, the County’s Health Services Department has been aggressively preparing for the ACA, including addressing operations and technology required under the new mandate. The ACA is expected to make healthcare coverage available to up to half of the County’s roughly 1.8 million uninsured people.
“While the County will remain the safety net for hundreds of thousands of residents who will remain without insurance, we are now entering the new world of a competitive marketplace,” said Supervisor Knabe. “We must begin to tell the story of the County healthcare system to those who will now face choice in selecting their healthcare provider.”
With unanimous approval, the Board directed the CEO, in conjunction with the County’s Health Services and Public Social Services departments, labor unions, USC and UCLA, and other partners to develop a comprehensive strategy to explain the County’s public-private health care system to residents and potential enrollees.
LA County has the second largest public health system in the country with a $3.5 billion annual budget. Every year, the County sees 2.9 million outpatients. Sixty-four percent of those who come to County facilities are uninsured.
“While the County may have been a system of last resort in many minds, the truth is we have some incredible facilities and staff,” said Supervisor Knabe. “We need to start telling that story.”