The HIA addressed the health implications of the City of Los Angeles’ Living Wage Ordinance, which gave an employer the ability to choose whether to provide health insurance or additional income. Increased income and increased likelihood of health insurance are the major factors driving the ordinance’s impacts on health, and for this analysis mortality was the primary measure of health impact. The report’s overarching conclusion was that increasing income is likely to reduce overall mortality rates. Other health impacts—such as disease, injury rates and hospitalizations—are also considered. The report noted that: 1) despite increased income, families of workers covered by the ordinance would still have difficulty making ends meet; 2) health insurance for currently uninsured workers could substantially reduce long-term mortality; 3) the aggregate cost-effectiveness of health insurance is far better than that of additional wages; and 4) providing health insurance to an uninsured worker can reduce mortality risk more cost-effectively than increased wages.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.