Health care symposium planned for L.A.


Leaders from the Los Angeles County Health Agency will join healthcare policy and finance experts for a half-day seminar exploring the feasibility of implementing a universal healthcare model in California.  The event will be held on Friday, December 8, from 8:30AM to 12:00PM at the Medical Center campus.

Roughly 2.7 million Californians do not have health insurance and over 30 percent are underinsured. Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal efforts in Washington threaten to destabilize insurance markets, leaving those with coverage increasingly wary of continued affordability, provision of comprehensive benefits and access to care.

Against this backdrop, panelists will discuss options for a state government-financed delivery system, revenue models, the role of the insurance industry, the state legislative landscape, and an envisioned future where all California residents would be entitled to quality healthcare without having to pay premiums, deductibles or copays.

“With every new iteration of ‘repeal and replace’, traction for universal coverage grows as consumers face rising premiums and a healthcare cost curve that is unsustainable,” said LAC+USC Medical Center chief medical officer and symposium organizer, Brad Spellberg, M.D.  “There’s no easy answer, but there is momentum now for dialogue and thought leadership.  As a major provider of care to the region’s uninsured and training site for the next generation of physicians, LAC+USC Medical Center is pleased to bring these voices together.”

University of Massachusetts distinguished professor of economics Dr. Robert Pollin will keynote the conference.  He conducted the economic analysis of the state’s Healthy California single-payer legislative proposal.

Other featured speakers will include L.A. County Health Agency director Dr. Mitchell Katz, who led the creation of the Healthy San Francisco coverage program before coming to Los Angeles to head the Department of Health Services.  Department of Mental Health director Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Dr. Michael Hochman, director of the USC Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science, Dr. Geoffrey Joyce, director of health policy for the USC Schaeffer Center, and single-payer advocate Dr. Ron Birnbaum will round out the panel.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Fellowship for Public Engagement is a co-organizer.

The symposium will be held in Conference Rooms A&B in the hospital inpatient tower, located at 2051 Marengo Street and is open to the public.  Free parking is available in Lot 9D located at the corner of Marengo and Britannia Streets.

 About LAC+USC Medical Center

LAC+USC Medical Center is a 600-bed, Level One trauma center and academic teaching hospital run by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Through its affiliation with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, LAC+USC is a training site for physicians completing Graduate Medical Education. The campus is home to a renowned Burn Center, a specialized center for the treatment of children in the foster care system, and the Rand-Schrader HIV/AIDS Clinic. For more information, visit

The above information was provided to The Signal via a news release.

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