COVID-19

2021-22 CA Budget Takes Major Steps to a More Universal & Equitable Health Care System

The State Legislature passed the final 2021-2022 health budget bill (AB 133) that includes historic investments in expanding and improving health coverage for millions of Californians. It now goes to Governor Newsom for his final signature in the coming days. Many of the proposals included in this budget bill were key priorities of the Care4All California coalition of over 70 consumer, community, labor, progressive, and health care organizations working to advance the goal of quality affordable health care for all Californians as soon as possible. The coalition supported these investments which, working together, represent important steps to a more universal, equitable, and affordable health care system in California. These organizations pushed for key proposals to improve Medi-Cal and reduce health care disparities for low-income […] Read More

California Legislature Passes Their 2021 – 2022 Budget with Steps Towards A More Universal Health Care System. Deal On Final Budget Must Still Be Reached With Governor Newsom.

Yesterday, the California State Assembly and State Senate voted to pass a 2021-2022 state budget that includes funding for a more universal, equitable, and affordable, health care system. While the Legislature is in agreement on this version of the budget, negotiations continue with Governor Newsom on a final deal. On June 1, the state legislature announced a joint budget proposal that aligned on a number of key health care proposals, which is what was passed today. It includes historic investments in our health system, including a plan for the first-in-the-nation end to the exclusion of income-eligible undocumented adults age 50 and over in Medi-Cal. The Governor’s May Revision included a proposal to end this exclusion for those 60 and over. […] Read More

CA Governor Newsom’s May Budget: Key Health Takeaways

On Friday, May 14th 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the 2021-22 May Revision of the state budget, which includes some important investments to improve and expand our health care system, but also missed major opportunities for further expansion and improvement, especially given the size of the surplus. This budget recognizes that our health system is better when everyone has access to coverage, including primary and preventative care, and we will continue to advocate with the Legislature to improve access and affordability in both Medi-Cal and Covered California. We should take this opportunity to get as close as possible a universal health care system, which we realize is more urgent than ever post-pandemic. Prior to the Governor’s May revision, the California […] 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

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

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