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Healthcare ruling hailed as 'huge victory' by L.A. clinic official

Jacky Noble -- Hubert Humphery -- Margaret Cheatam Williams

Government and private clinics in Los Angeles County will continue receiving funds to enroll thousands of patients in a transitional medical care program known as Healthy Way L.A. as a result of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama's healthcare package. 

“This is a day to celebrate, the fact that the Supreme Court upheld the right of all Americans to have health insurance and health coverage,” said Jim Mangia, president and chief executive of St. John's Well Child and Family Centers. “It’s a huge victory of human rights.”

St. John’s network of 12 health centers in South Los Angeles serves 50,000 patients, about 60% of whom are uninsured. Healthy Way L.A. is a temporary program to provide primary healthcare services to  uninsured patients who will be covered under an expansion of Medicaid starting in 2014.

Mangia said that the Affordable Care Act will dramatically improve the lives of many of these patients.

“It means that thousands of our patients will be eligible for Medicaid, and thousands of others will be able to obtain insurance" through a new state-run program, he said.

About 4,000 St. John's patients are enrolled in the Healthy Way L.A. program.

Now, healthcare managers need to concentrate on making the healthcare law work, Mangia said.

“Those of us who are providing healthcare on the ground need to make sure we are aggressively participating in the exchanges, that we are aggressively enrolling people in Medicaid, and making sure that the healthcare law is implemented.”

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Photo: Patient Jacky Noble is treated at Los Angeles' Hubert Humphrey medical clinic. Credit:  Margaret Cheatham Williams/Los Angeles Times 

 
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