CA Assembly Health Committee Passes AB 1130 to Contain Inflated Health Care Costs

On April 6th, the California Assembly Health Committee passed AB 1130 by Assemblymember Jim Wood on a 12-0 bipartisan vote. The bill will implement a statewide Office of Health Care Affordability, a new effort to address the rising cost of health care. As Californians face an affordability crisis on many fronts, the proposed Office is a bold, far-reaching effort to address inflated health care costs that are taking a bigger and bigger bite out of workers’ wages and family finances, forcing many people to skip or ration their care. This Office would put in place a comprehensive strategy to contain health care costs, setting targets for affordability with accountability, and drive innovation in payment and delivery of care while still […] Read More

The ACA Turns 11 With Its Biggest Boost Ever

March 23rd marked the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act taking effect, and for all the good the law has done over the last decade, we are excited by new developments that will provide more help connecting Californians with coverage and care.  Thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, getting health care through the ACA is now more affordable than ever before for millions of Californians. On top of the immediate direct financial stimulus provided to many Americans, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is the biggest boost to health coverage affordability since the ACA, ensuring that no American has to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health care coverage when buying as an individual. This is an urgent and welcome relief for millions […] Read More

#StopAAPIHate

We at Health Access California and the California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network are heartbroken over a series of horrific hate crimes targeted towards the AAPI community, most recently in Atlanta. Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the eight people who lost their lives, six of which were Asian women – mothers, daughters, immigrants trying to make a living and survive through this public health crisis. We stand in solidarity and support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in our state and across the country, and denounce the surge in attacks on AAPI people. Throughout this COVID-19 crisis, we have been alarmed about anti-Asian animus, which has caused fear and concern in the […] Read More

California Health Advocates Praise Federal Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill on ACA Affordability Assistance

California consumer and health advocates hailed the current COVID-19 relief package that passed the Senate this weekend for its historic investments in health care coverage and accessibility and urged its final passage in the House of Representatives. The package includes significant funding for vaccine distribution, direct income support to families, and aid to state and local governments that will assist in providing health and human services. Most notably, the federal bill provides historic financial assistance to help millions of Americans afford health coverage in the midst of this pandemic, ensuring that no American will pay more than 8.5% of their income on health care coverage. This premium relief builds on the work already done in California, where the state has been investing […] Read More

In Loving Memory – William (Bill) David Powers

  William (Bill) David Powers passed away on November 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Bill was a remarkable person, an activist at heart. He genuinely cared about people and acknowledged the value of each person he met. Even after he officially retired from an active and meaningful life advocating for affordable housing, Bill Powers continued to be the conscience of the California Capitol for years to come, on multiple social justice issues, including health care. Health Access California was proud to have him on our board as a representative of the Congress of California Seniors, and he served as our chair for several years. Personally, he was one of the first people I met in Sacramento. As the new organizing […] Read More

COVID-19 Vaccinations Start to Roll Out for California Seniors

This week, California started the process of opening up COVID-19 vaccinations to those age 65 and over. This is in addition to health care professionals and nursing home residents who have already been receiving shots. We know you may have a lot of questions about when you or your loved one can access this life-saving vaccine. Health Access California has been advocating for an efficient and equitable distribution, and while there are still unanswered questions, here is what we know: How much will it cost? These vaccines should be provided at no cost to all, regardless of insurance or immigration status. If you receive a bill for these services, please contact your health provider or plan ASAP. Is the vaccine safe? The two vaccines currently being distributed […] Read More

New #CABudget Provides Urgent Short-Term COVID-19 Help, But Long-Term Investments Still Needed for State’s Recovery

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the January proposal for the 2021-22 State Budget. The budget provides needed short-term investments to help Californians in crisis, but more ongoing and long-term support will be necessary to move California down the road towards health and economic recovery.  We still urge the CA state legislature to look at what more can be done for Californians to get care and coverage that is desperately needed in this pandemic and its aftermath. The success of our health and economic recovery depends not just on these upfront investments, but our ongoing commitments to care, coverage and public health. This proposed budget includes a range of specific investments in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including $372 million […] Read More

Twenty Takeaways from 2020

Protecting Our Progress and Confronting the Challenges of COVID-19 Like most Californians, we had high hopes for progress in 2020. The year began in earnest with the implementation of expanded access and affordability to coverage for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and ambitious plans to increase health industry oversight to control costs, improve quality and equity, and win key patient protections. When the pandemic hit in March, Health Access doubled-down on our commitment to protect California consumers, adapting quickly to the many changes in our health system and in response to COVID-19. This meant pausing some of our larger-scale efforts in the short-term in order to fight for consumer protections and access to care during a pandemic-induced economic downturn and […] Read More

Despite Pandemic, Progress Continued on Health Care, Coverage, and Costs in California; Advocates Urge Governor Newsom Sign Key Access and Accountability Bills

The California Legislature ended a 2020 session marked by significant changes due to the COVID-19 crisis. While several high-profile health policy initiatives stalled in light of the pandemic and the economic emergency that caused a state budget deficit, the legislative year ended with key advances on health policy for California consumers. Despite the pandemic, progress was made on improving California health coverage, care, and costs during this COVID-19 impacted legislative session. Admittedly, we were disappointed that solutions stalled on surprise medical bills and health care consolidation, which are both major drivers of higher health costs, the Legislature passed several other health policy highlights. Patient advocates urge Governor Newsom to sign the bills on his desk to help Californian consumers, including […] Read More

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