Congratulations, Secretary Solis!

Hilda Solis is likely to be appointed as Labor Secretary by President-Elect Barack Obama.

Health care advocates in California remember Ms. Solis well from her eight years as a California legislator, first in the Assembly from 1992 to 1994 and then as a Senator from 1995-2000.

Representative Solis is best known for authoring SB480 (1999) which created the Health Care Options Project (HCOP): the studies that resulted are archived here on the Health Access website. Those studies helped instigate Senators Speier to introduce the predecessor for SB2, and Senator Kuehl to introduce her first single-payer bill, SB840.

But we know her from many other fights for health care here in California:
* HMO Reform: Then-Senator Solis carried important legislation on requiring coverage of diabetes supplies and devices.
* Hospital finance: Solis carried multiple pieces of legislation on behalf of public hospitals
* Office of Multicultural Health
* Expansions of Healthy Families
* Medi-Cal improvements

Like all good advocates, Hilda Solis was willing to take on good fights and lose in order to move an issue forward. Not all her health care bills became law, something that we at Health Access California, often experience ourselves but that never deterred Solis from fighting to get Californians, all of them, the health care they need.

It is not a surprise to those of us who knew Hilda Solis when she was a California legislator that she would be Secretary of Labor: here in California, she carried legislation creating a Labor Agency, she carried minimum wage bills, and she fought year after year to improve working conditions and workplace safety in the garment industry.

From all of us at Health Access: good luck, Madame Secretary!

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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