BEYOND THE ACA: Health for More Today, And Medicare For All Tomorrow
By Georgia Brewer, AllCare Alliance
The Immigrant Rights and Healthcare Equality movements are joining forces for a Leadership Conference on Health for All and a Lobby Day to support both SB4 (Lara), the Health for All Act, and universal, publicly funded Medicare for All!
The Health4All Coalition and the AllCare Alliance, with over 250 partner organizations, are the primary sponsors, and the California Health Professional Student Alliance is Lead Coordinator for both events.
Join us! The Leadership Conference will take place on 4/12/15 from 1 pm to 6 pm at the Sheraton Grand, 1230 J Street, Sacramento. To register and get discounted hotel and transportation rates, please see Health4All.eventbrite.com
The March, Rally, Press Conference and Legislative Visits will take place on 4/13/15 at 11 am. Attendees will gather the morning of 4/13/15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 100 Capitol Mall. Please see and share our Facebook Event Page: Health4All Rally/Lobby Day 2015
Sponsorships are gratefully accepted to offset costs for students and low-income activists. Tabling opportunities will also be available at the Leadership Conference. For more information, please see:
The two coalitions are united in the belief that: Everyone will benefit when all Californians have easy access to affordable, high-quality health care.
Even after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, over 3 million Californians, many of them undocumented, will remain without health insurance. Yet undocumented Californians contribute significantly to our economy, paying more than $2 billion every year in state and local taxes1.
Undocumented Californians include our grandparents, mothers, fathers, neighbors, employees, students, co-workers and friends. They are inextricably woven into the fabric of what makes California great.
While the wording is not yet finalized, the intent of SB4 is to ñ at a minimum – extend Medi-Cal to the undocumented, who been explicitly excluded from many federal programs, including Medicaid and the ACA.
In the most fiscally inefficient and medically ineffective way conceivable, we are already covering their medical needs, but through Emergency Medi-Cal, after medical conditions have developed into expensive crises.
Extending regular Medi-Cal to the undocumented would give them access to primary and preventive care, nipping health challenges in the bud before they become more expensive to treat.
Moreover, safety-net services vary dramatically between California counties, which contributes to disturbing and unacceptable healthcare inequities in our state. Allowing our institutions to systemically promote health inequity is morally unconscionable and fiscally unsustainable.
Yet extending Medi-Cal to the undocumented only represents a partial solution to the problem of healthcare inequity. Clearly, much more must be done to assure that all Californians enjoy true health security.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan recently commented, ìUniversal health coverage is one of the most powerful social equalizers among all policy options. It is the ultimate expression of fairness.î
She added, Health systems will not automatically gravitate towards greater equity or naturally evolve towards universal coverage. All of these outcomes require deliberate policy decisions.î2
Yet in the face of the most extreme wealth inequality in over a century, public investments in health systems are looked at as luxuries.
Far from luxuries, we see investments that promote equity in health care as critical to our public health, quality of life, financial security and even our democracy.
We strongly urge support for state measures that promote high quality, comprehensive, universal, and publicly funded health care for all Californians. Add your voice to ours! Sign up for the leadership conference on 4/12 and join us at the Capitol on 4/13!