Author: Health Access

Recommitting to Racial Justice and Health Equity – Black Lives Matter

Adopted by the Health Access California board Health Access California supports the Black Lives Matters movement, and stands with those in the streets to protest unacceptable police violence, and structural racism targeted at the Black community. Responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, and building upon our previous organizational statement, Health Access recommits to the work of advancing racial equity and ensuring racism is addressed as a public health crisis. It is our responsibility to work to abolish racism on a personal, structural, and institutional level, including in our health care system. As a leader in the movement for universal access to health care, we will work to counter the state-sanctioned violence and more broadly the anti-black racism that impacts […] Read More

Health and Community Groups Condemn Trump HHS Rule to Allow Discrimination by Health Providers; Urge California Regulators to Double Down on State Patient Protections

On Friday, Health and community advocates condemned the Trump Administration new rule to undermine the enforcement of the civil rights provision (Section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act, designed to protect patients from discrimination in health care. This rule is cruel and callous attempt to spread confusion and embolden health care providers and insurance companies to discriminate against LGBTQ, and in particular transgender and nonbinary, patients, women in need of reproductive services, persons with limited English Proficiency (LEP) and persons with disabilities. The timing of this rule – released during a pandemic that disproportionately impacts LGBTQ people and people of color, during Pride month, and on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy –  is especially inhumane. Anticipating this ruling, […] Read More

Black Lives Matter

We at Health Access California share the grief and outrage of the murder of George Floyd. As we mourn not just Mr. Floyd, but also the many unwarranted deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, we must advocate for a society that fully respects the humanity of Black people. Black Lives Matter. We cannot tolerate less. We urgently recommit to work with our allies in California and throughout the country to counter the structural racism and institutionalized white supremacy that runs throughout our society – from implicit bias to explicit exclusion. Each and every one of us has a hand in that work, which includes promoting health equity while holding the health care sector accountable on these issues. Our fight […] Read More

Senate and Assembly Budget Committees Look for Investments in Healthcare and Social Services, Among Other Priorities

The Senate and Assembly Committees on Budget and Fiscal Review each held informational hearings on the Governor’s 2018-2019 Proposed Budget, providing a general overview for the public. These hearings kick off the 2018 budget committee process in the Legislature. The proposed state budget includes $131.7 billion in general fund spending compared to last year’s budget of about $125 billion. Both Amy Costa, the Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Finance (DOF) and Mac Taylor, the Legislative Analyst, acknowledged this number is due to higher revenues. The Legislative Analyst also said legislators have important decisions to make to ensure that the significantly higher discretionary funding reflects the Legislature’s priorities. In her opening remarks, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, Chair of the […] Read More

Governor Brown Releases 2018-2019 #CABudget

On January 10, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown released his 2018-19 proposed State Budget, which includes $131.7 billion in general fund spending and continues California’s commitments to implementing and improving upon the Affordable Care Act. Health advocates are urging the Governor and the Legislature to continue support for Medi-Cal and make investments to cover the remaining uninsured, make key restorations and investments in the program, while taking new steps toward universal care. The Governor’s budget proposal approaches funding for health care programs “with caution,” as the Governor reflected in his press conference on uncertainty about a potential recession, and whether Congress will fulfill the federal government’s commitments to Californians on healthcare. Although the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) projects a […] Read More

Website for New Prescription Drug Price Transparency Law (SB 17) Now Live

Implementation of the ground-breaking California law to provide transparency and notice of prescription drug price increases is moving ahead full steam. The law will take effect on January 1, 2018, but the the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has already made live the registry for public and private purchasers to receive 60-day notice of future increases. The costs of prescription drugs continue to skyrocket. Consumers are facing price increases on everything from long-time generics used to treat common conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, to new treatments for diseases like hepatitis C. Prices for some generic drugs, including antibiotics and asthma inhalers, have gone up anywhere from 4,000-8,000%. In October, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill […] Read More

Office of Patient Advocate Releases 2017-18 Health Care Quality Report Card

The California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA) has released its 2017-18 Health Care Quality Report Card, a tool that helps consumers compare the quality of health plans and find information to help them get the care they need. With California’s Open Enrollment starting November 1st and continuing until January 31, 2018, consumers can evaluate the health plan and medical group options in their county and see how they fare on a variety of quality measures. The tool helps consumers shopping for coverage through Covered California or with employer-based coverage make decisions not just based on how much the health plan costs, but also whether they provide the best care based on your medical needs. With this report card consumers […] Read More

Assembly Holds Hearings on Universal Coverage in California: Day 2 – Health Care Systems in Other Countries

The Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage held the second part of its two-day hearing on healthcare delivery systems, focusing yesterday on universal coverage systems in other countries with the goal of informing a universal coverage system in California. Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Jim Wood and Dr. Joaquin Arambula and committee members provided opening remarks with Assemblymember David Chiu challenging stakeholders to use this hearing as a way to “break the status quo” in considering the state’s next steps towards universal health care. Assemblymember Laura Friedman was critical of California’s current healthcare system, calling it a broken system that needs to look towards other developed countries who outperform the United States in providing care to their […] Read More

Assembly Holds Hearings on Universal Coverage in California: Day 1

This week, the Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage held two hearings to continue the conversation about how California can achieve universal health coverage. It is the hope of the committee that these hearings will set the framework that will inform how the Assembly can pursue policy solutions towards universal health coverage that ensures quality, affordable and comprehensive care for all Californians. Yesterday, experts in coverage and financing of healthcare coverage testified before the Assembly committee, providing an overview of California’s current system, where California is falling short in providing coverage, and the critical role federal investment plays in both maintaining coverage for our most vulnerable, and maintaining the coverage gains made through the implementation […] Read More

Speaker Rendon Announces Fall Hearings on Health Care for All

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced a series of hearings this fall to “develop plans for achieving universal health care in California.  Chaired by Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) and Dr. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), the new Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage, will investigate both obstacles and options on health care. Here’s the statement: “The fight to protect the Affordable Care Act helped galvanize the principle that health care is a basic right,” Rendon said. “There are several different approaches being proposed, including Medicare for all, single payer, hybrid systems and ACA expansion. I have called for these hearings to determine what approach best gets us there – what gets us to ‘yes’ when it comes to health care […] Read More