May 14, 2012
Taking L.A. County’s local issues to the federal level
Last week, we were back in Washington, D.C. for the County’s annual trip to the nation’s capital. As the largest county in the United States, this trip is very important to ensure that the issues facing our constituents are top-of-mind with our congressional delegation and federal officials.
This year we were focused on two major areas, healthcare and public safety. The County has been preparing for the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, regardless of the opinion the Supreme Court issues in June.
As the nation’s second largest health care system with the largest uninsured population (over 2 million people) it is critical that we understand the implications of the health care act on our operations. We also raised concerns over any funding impacts as California already receives the lowest per capita Medicaid funding in the nation.
We also advocated for funding for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) which is technology that will tie together the communications systems our first responders would use in the event of a crisis. With LAX and the two ports in our backyard, this public safety system is absolutely critical to our region.
I also met with Michael Donley, the Secretary of the Air Force about the Los Angeles Air Force Base, Ray La Hood, the Secretary of Transportation on our transit goals in the LA region, and officials at the White House on our health care and public safety concerns.
We stopped in to see officials in the Foreign Affairs department to discuss our efforts to stop child sex trafficking and met with the Army Corps of Engineers to thank them for their support of the Marina del Rey dredging project.
It was a very busy couple days! While this was a terrific and necessary trip again this year, I will say that the general tone in D.C. was high on frustration and finger-pointing on both sides of the aisle.
Here at the County, we don’t have time for that kind of partisan bickering. Those who depend on our safety net services need us to just solve problems.
Thanks to those of you who “joined” us in D.C. via Facebook and Twitter. It was a great trip, but as always, it sure is good to be home!