Majority Report

The California Program on Access to Care (CPAC) released the results of their “Ethnic Health Assessment Project,” an examination of the specific health needs of California’s 4 largest minority groups.

At the behest of the Tri-Caucus of the California Legislature, CPAC studied health needs and opportunities for health equity in African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Senator Gil Cedillo, chair of the Latino Caucus, commented that these reports should actually be referred to as the “Majority Report” as Latinos, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and American Indians combined actually make up 56% of the population of California. Assemblymember Mike Eng encouraged attendees to hold legislators accountable for incorporating the needs of minority communities into health policy, he said that ignoring these health inequities and failing to meet the health needs of these communities is a “civil wrong by omission”. The 4 reports each contain staggering findings about the health disparities faced by these populations. For example, Latinos are more than twice as likely to be uninsured than any other ethnic group in California.

CPAC makes 4 key policy recommendations that will help to address these disparities. They are:

  • Promote Healthy Diets and Physical Activities to Reduce Obesity and Diabetes
  • Design Mental Health Outreach to Address Overall Health Access Foundation
  • Improve Neighborhood Safety to Reduce Violence
  • Diversify the Health Care Workforce to Improve Access to Care

These recommendations must be included not just as ancillary programs, but as considerations in shaping health care systems for an increasingly diverse population. The new Health Reform Law provides many opportunities to implement some of these policy recommendations, and as we move forward with implementation here in California, we look forward to holding our legislators accountable for integrating the needs of communities of color into the structural frameworks of our health care system.

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