HEALTH ACCESS ALERT

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

(Cinco de Mayo Edition)

* Organizations Sought to Save SB 2

* May Events on New Advocacy Calendar

* Are You Getting Health Access Updates?

“SAVE YOUR HEALTHCARE” CAMPAIGN SEEKS SUPPORT

Health advocates are currently organizing to prevent the repeal of SB 2, the

Health Insurance Act, the landmark law to protect and expand employer-based

health care coverage passed last year. Some large employers, like McDonald’s

and Macy’s, have funded a referendum on the November 2004 ballot to seek to

repeal the law.

The stakes are high: if the opponents of SB 2 win, then not only is the law

repealed, but it could stifle other reform conversations for the next

decade, and some large employers may feel empowered to further scale back or

drop coverage. But if the Health Insurance Act is upheld, the Governor will

be forced to implement the bill, and health advocates will have a mandate to

get coverage to a million uninsured Californians. It will send a signal, in

the middle of a presidential election, that voters care about health care,

and want reform. Some information is available on the Health Access

California website, at http://www.health-access.org, as well as the website of other supporters.

ANTI-HEALTH CARE ADS: One conservative opposition group, the so-called

“Consumer Alliance for a Strong Economy,” has sponsored a small Sacramento

TV ad buy. You can see the opposition ad at:

http://www.consumeralliance.org/ad.html

ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS: The “Save Your Healthcare” Campaign is looking

for organizational supporters to support SB2 and to prevent the repeal.

Supporters of SB 2 will be seeking a YES vote on the referendum in November

2004. To have your organization formally sign-on to the campaign, please fax

back the form at:

http://www.health-access.org/docs/SupportSB2-OpposeRepealSignOn.doc

MAY REVISE UPCOMING; CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The month of May will be a busy month for health advocates. Most

importantly, Governor Schwarzenegger will release the May Revision of his

state budget, which may be as early as Thursday, May 13th. That announcement

will start an intense one-month period of the debate over the budget, until

the June 15th deadline for the legislature to pass a budget (and while the

Legislature has traditionally missed this deadline, there is a concerted

effort to be on time this year.) The revised budget will indicate the status

of the Governor’s cuts to health care, including enrollment caps and

provider rate reductions, and feature much-awaited details of the “Medi-Cal

Redesign” waiver proposal.

For other activities, a full “Health and Budget Advocacy” Calendar of

Events, fully updated by many health advocacy organizations, is available

at:

http://www.health-access.org/calendarhome.htm

If you want to add events to this calendar, please fill out the online form

at:

http://www.health-access.org/calendar_request.htm

Here are some events of note in May. More information is available on the

advocacy calendar:

* CONFERENCE ON SB 2: “Expanding Employment-Based Health Insurance in

California: Senate Bill 2–Issues and Options.” A one-day conference on

Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), the new California law that provides for expanded

employment-based health insurance. Friday, May 7th in Los Angeles.

* SENIOR RALLY & RELATED ACTIONS: Several thousand seniors will host their

annual senior rally, and will be joined by hundreds of others to fight

against budget cuts and “save the safety net.” Wednesday, May 12th in

Sacramento.

* COVER THE UNINSURED WEEK: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will air

national television ads and sponsor 1,000 events around the country “to make

the issue of the uninsured a focus of national discussion.” Monday, May

10th-Sunday, May 16th, in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San

Diego.

* IMMIGRANT DAY: “Immigrants Work Hard for California: Save the Safety Net”

is the theme of this rally and advocacy day, featuring hundreds of

immigrants and their supporters. Monday, May 17th in Sacramento.

ARE YOU GETTING THE HEALTH ACCESS E-MAILS?

To better serve health advocates, Health Access is upgrading its E-mail list

management services. Health Access sent out its last email update last week, on

April 28th, entitled “HEALTH ACCESS: Legislative Update on Bills Impacting

Health Consumers.”

IF YOU DID NOT GET THIS UPDATE, or if you find that you for some reason fall

off this E-mail list and don’t get future updates, please re-sign up at:

http://www.health-access.org/emaillist.htm

Most updates are archived at our website. If you have any questions about

the management of our E-mail list, the budget and health advocacy calendar,

or our web site, please contact Serwar Ahmed, at 510-873-8787, or

sahmed@health-access.org.



Anthony E. Wright

Executive Director

Health Access

1127 11th St., #234, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ph: 916-442-2308, Fx: 916-497-0921

awright@health-access.org

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

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