This post was written by Rose Auguste, Health Access Organizer (Northern California).
The work to cover all Californians continues at the local level.
On Wednesday, October 8th community members, health and immigration advocates, students and Alameda County legislators held a press event at the Oakland State Building in support of SB1005 (Lara), the Health For All Act. The “H4All” Act expands access to health care coverage for all Californians, regardless of immigration status. Event participants held signs bearing an image of a ticking clock, stating “The Time Is Now,” highlighting the urgent need for H4All Community members shared personal stories of how the lack of access to healthcare has had a negative impact on them, their families, and their community.
“No one should suffer or die from an easily treatable condition, regardless of where they were born,” said Beatrice Sanchez, a student at the College of Alameda and member of ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), in reference to her mother’s death due to limited access to care and fear of financial burdens. Ms. Sanchez’s story illustrates the human toll of inaction or complacency on this issue.
The California Endowment recently released a new poll, which shows that a majority of Californians support healthcare for all Californians, including undocumented residents. Alameda County Assembly Member Rob Bonta also spoke at the event, where he pledged his continued support and commitment to making the Health for All act a budget priority in the 2015 legislative session. A Health for All event was also held on October 14 in Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, a coalition of immigrant, health and community advocate came together to advocate for the passage of SB1005. Although the legislation made some progress through the 2014 Legislature, it was eventually held in Senate Appropriations. SB1005 author Senator Ricardo Lara has stated that “a majority of Californians agree that a truly healthy state depends on expanding access to health care for everyone, regardless of their immigration status.” Senator Lara has pledged his commitment to bring the initiative (Note: The new bill number will be released in December 2014). In preparation for the 2015 legislative session, supporters have stepped up their Health for All advocacy campaign.
If you or your organization is interested in getting involved with the Health For All campaign or sharing a consumer or provider story about the need for affordable health care coverage for the remaining uninsured, please email:
Rose Auguste, Health Access Organizer (Northern California), firstname.lastname@example.org o call 510-842-6770.
Muneera Gardezi, Health Access Organizer, email@example.com or call 310-597-2083.
Pictured above, from right to left: Beatrice Sanchez, Akiko Aspillga, California Assembly Member Rob Bonta, and Sandy Valenciano.