What did you expect?
Despite a marked population increase, hospitals are contracting pediatric beds, forcing patients to travel longer distances for hospital care or be admitted to a hospital hundreds of miles from home.
The simple reason is money.
Pediatric reimbursement rates in California rank dead last in the country, and hospitals are shifting their resources into more financially viable services, like adult care. And this isn’t a case of greedy hospitals wanting to make more money. It’s a matter of survival, with well-publicized cases of California hospitals closing, or on the brink of bankruptcy.
And once the effects from the ban on balance billing are fully felt, this situation will spread to emergency care.
I would not want to practice, or be a patient, in California anytime in the near future. As WhiteCoat says, you get what you pay for.