NLSLA is at the forefront of health advocacy in California, offering assistance to people struggling to get coverage and resolve problems with health plans; working to identify widespread health access issues that need to be addressed on a policy level; and ensuring implementation of the Affordable Care Act is meaningful for the most impacted communities in Los Angeles.
For more than a decade, NLSLA has led one of the largest health advocacy projects in the country. The Health Consumer Center (HCC) of Los Angeles provides telephone advice and assistance to help empower consumers to resolve health access and service problems independently. When self-help does not resolve the problem, we use a range of legal advocacy tools to assist clients and bring about quick, positive results. Our advocates work to identify widespread issues coming through the Center that may need to be addressed on a policy or systemic level, and then lead these efforts in front of local and state agencies.
The HCC is the largest member of the Health Consumer Alliance–a network of nine consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal services organizations across the state of California—which offers free assistance online, over-the-phone or in-person at independent community-based offices throughout the state, helping people who are struggling to get health coverage and resolve problems with their health plans.
NLSLA played a critical role in LA County’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and continues to work to ensure health reform is meaningful for the most impacted communities in Los Angeles. NLSLA attorneys have become experts in all aspects of the new legislation, and have led local and statewide education, policy, and legal efforts to ensure California’s poorest residents benefit from the national program.
Medical Legal Community Partnerships
Our health work includes innovative projects designed to address community-specific issues. Among these are the Medical Legal Community Partnerships in South Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. These collaborations bring NLSLA attorneys to community-based clinics in Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods to help doctors identify the social determinants of health—those non-biologic factors such as inadequate housing and insufficient access to healthy food or health insurance—while providing individual legal assistance and advocating for systemic change to transform community health status.