LA Officials Consider Charging Extra For Emergency Services

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Having an emergency in the city of Los Angeles may soon cost residents a whole lot of money.

City officials are considering charging more for some emergency services that many residents feel they already pay for in taxes.

It is one of multiple revenue-saving options detailed in a 20-page report from the city’s chief legislative analyst, many of which directly impact public services. The proposals have some residents, like Sandra, worried.

Sandra depends on multiple prescriptions each day for her heart condition. When some of her pills got mixed up a year ago, she made a call to 911.

“If they hadn’t gotten here, I would have been dead,” she said.

Sandra’s health insurance paid for the cost of the Ambulance.

But the new proposal could mean that for future emergencies, she could be charged hundreds of dollars just to have a paramedic check her out.

“If I had to pay for that I don’t know quite how I would do it,” she said.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering ambulance fees — $342 for a non-transport call. However, an ambulance insurance policy would be available for $30-60 per year.

“If you have to be transported, you get that service for free, because you’re paying a monthly fee,” said. Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, who noted that it is no secret that the city needs cash. “I think we’re going to have to find ways to increase the pie of revenue versus expecting the current revenue to regenerate itself.”

The report also suggests adding a $2.25 per month fee to every phone even if you do not dial and emergency call, making home owners, like Sandra, wonder where her property tax is going.

“About $2,500 and it’s all gone,” she said, referring to her property tax payment.

“Yes, they are paying property tax. They’re also paying sales tax, they’re also paying business tax,” Parks said, adding that property taxes go into the general fund and the proposed fees would too.

Although Sandra knows that her emergency services are priceless, she is afraid that their possible new price tag could have her thinking twice when she should be calling for help.

“I think they can find other ways to fund things,” she said.

  • Straight Truth

    You have got to be kidding me? How about starting with getting rid of some of these overpaid city officials and staff like Tony V.’s who has over 100 people working for him making 50K+. Get rid of these duplicate positions, stop abusing city vehicles, etc., etc. Charging residents is outrageous. But then again, this uneducated/undereducated, apathetic population that we call Los Angeles today probably don’t even care. Being poor is okay with most people here.

    • Bryan Conover

      Tony V…Ha Ha

    • Bryan Conover

      So much fun living in a 3rd world city?…Do you think there is a chance in hell an illegal alien would be denied services for not being able to pay and not having the remotest interest in speaking English?…Never going to happen but you can feel rest assured that your credit rating would be dinged and wages would be garnished for not paying this bill as a tax paying U.S. Citizen.

      $700,000,000 tax dollars a year in LA County is spent on illegal alien socialist programs…Look it up…Its public information…And now they want people to pay $300 to $700 for a ambulance visit?…State Tax, Income Tax, Sales Tax, Utility Tax…WHERE DOES THE TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION STOP?

      Vote Republican and this kind of abuse will STOP !

      • Stubby

        Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

      • Del

        The term Illegals does include
        Persons From India, China, Ireland
        who overstay Visas

      • Straight Truth

        I totally agree.

    • Straight Truth

      Guess what, Del? You are right; however, we’re talking about Los Angeles. And, the problem here isn’t any of the ethnic groups you mentioned as far as a drain on the system is concerned. The fact of the matter is latino immigrants are the greatest drain to the system with all the services they require. Sure, if you deport an illegal latinos, it is just as fair that Indians, Asians, Africans, etc. get the same. Once again, when it comes to crazy amount on money spent of free services for any one group, illegals are the reason.

  • Alan Hart

    What do they think we pay property taxes for? If the City council tries this, it will create a massive recall effort and the instillation of a new city council and a mayor who isn’t a Union Stooge.

    • Bryan Conover

      HILARIOUS….Shut up and swallow your meds my dear angelino

  • swhitS


  • Karin

    The same people who get relief from water bills, electricity, and medical costs are the same people who will not be expected to pay due to their “low income” status. Once again another burden placed on the middle class

  • DH

    What do they mean “Consider”? They are already billing people outrageous amouts. In March, my parents were in an auto accident and were taken by ambulance to the hospital. They were each billed $1,300. No lie. In this case their auto insurance carrier covered it.

  • TT

    ok wait a minute – why do we pay taxes ? Middle class Amreican families here make approximately 60 or 70k – let me give you a little breakdown..

    Approximately: for 1 year
    taxes 2500 – thats a low approximate
    gas 6,000
    utilities 2,400 – a year , on the low end
    Mortgage 22,000 – again low
    Fed/state withholding out of your check (approx 25%- i went low)
    about 17,500
    groceries at about 100 a week
    emergencies,clothes,car repairs,diapers, everyday essencials – on the low end
    that totale is about 59,100 – where are we gonna get more money to pay more taxes ? this is a minimum – people wont be able to live if this keeps up….need to re-evaluate

    • TT

      PS – thats not counting everyday medication, trips to the Dr with co-pays – with insurance – a whole lot more without…

    • TT

      and yes i realize – i was typing so fast i spelled American wrong – oops..

  • citizen

    I guess our property taxes mean nothing. It’s time to cut and recall.

    • Astonished

      It means that your property taxes are NOT being applied to the services you though they were. The City just raised the Ambulance rates, now they expect everyone to take out insurance? BALONEY!

      What I want is a copy of that report! I’ve searched the City Administrator’s office website and can’t find it.

      Come on CBS, don’t stop at the tiny details, tell us where we can get a copy of that stupid report!

  • cruiser

    It’s about time!! After working in the ER for 20 plus years and seeing the abuse of the EMS system that we see everyday it’s about time that some of the drug seekers and medi-cal abusing people pay for something themselves instead of us taxpayers paying all of it. The runs that we get for “headaches” “hypertension” and let’s not forget the infamous “pseudoseizures” is amazing. Wake up people! STop medi-cal, stop paying out welfare checks. Make people responsible for their own actions! Get off the couch, get an education and work for a living! What a concept!

    • The System is Broke

      The abuse falls on the ER as well. Triage nurses need to start putting people in the waiting room for non-life threatening 911 calls arriving via ambulance.

  • The Truth About The LAFD

    I work for the Los Angeles City Fire Department and am a firefighter/paramedic. Yes, my department CHARGES for services, but makes a very poor attempt at COLLECTING owed fees. Citizens that do not pay their fees, should be taken to collections. Ambulances are dispatched to almost anything. Seriously, if you call 911 and say you can’t sleep because you had a bad dream and would like to get an ambulance, my department will send you one. The LAFD needs to stop this nonsense. And then when the ambulance comes, most of these people go straight to a bed in the ER. So, the ER plays a role in this 911 abuse as well. The LAFD can charge $10,000 for a call and things would not change. It’s because they don’t have the nuts to collect. GROW SOME NUTS LAFD!!!!!!!

    • Del

      Cut the overtime pay
      Cut the 3 week shifts

  • TT

    @ the truth – There is nothing wrong with people being responcible for the bills they run up – and your right, they do need to go to collections, we know from previous news articles that even the city doesnt collect taxes owed from hotels and parking facilities, if i remember right one owed over 3 million dollars or there abouts – If the the city would at least try to collect the money they were owed – maybe they would need to charge more to try to recoupe it .
    Still doesnt help make any more money for the people that are doing the best they can ….I didnt even mention, credit card bills – an evening out, which means you dont spend any money in your CITY which has a snowball effect…. no out to dinner means less waitresses ,bus boys etc, and they make a whole lot less than 60k a year….

  • Los Angeles Emergency Fees Proposed At City Council

    […] paramedic attention provided at the scene of the injury (the amount wasn't specified). According to CBS Los Angeles, there's also a fee being considered would charge homeowners $2.25/month to call […]

  • LA Considering Fees For Ambulances, Rescues & Dialing 9-1-1 | CgPage

    […] attention provided at the scene of the injury (the amount wasn’t specified). According to CBS Los Angeles, there’s also a fee being considered would charge homeowners $2.25/month to call […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live