Over two million Californians have medical debt. These residents find it difficult to access needed health care or affordable credit. Even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many Los Angeles residents will continue to struggle with medical debt that makes it harder for them to pay other bills and leads to financial and mental stress.
For California communities to be healthy, they must address both health and wealth issues. There are clear connections between poverty, lack of health insurance, and poor health. The difference in average lifespan between residents of Watts and Newport Beach is greater than fifteen years. But it’s not too late to reverse this trend and put Angelenos back on track to live healthy and financially sound lives.
This half-day symposium brought together nationally recognized experts in health reform and financial empowerment at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in Los Angeles to discuss the latest research, current legislation and concrete strategies that policymakers, healthcare professionals, financial service providers, and advocates can support to reduce the burden of medical debt, create savings opportunities, and improve health outcomes in Los Angeles.
This event was co-sponsored by the New America Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in Los Angeles, and the Select Committee on Financial Empowerment.