Good news! Governor Brown has signed the California state budget and Medi-Cal expansion bills. As a result, California’s county public hospitals and health systems will have the funding they need to provide quality care to millions of residents–whether they’re insured or not.
The legislation and budget are the result of SEIU 721 members’ hard work. Over the last six months, members have joined community leaders in lobby days at the Capitol, engagement campaigns and other public actions.
Together, we accomplished some major victories:
- We expanded Medi-Cal on time. We passed the largest expansion of healthcare in California’s history – ABX1 1 and SBX1 1 will expand Medi-Cal to 1.4 million currently uninsured Californians.
- We expanded Medi-Cal fully. We fought hard for full benefits, and not only did we achieve that, we added dental care.
- We made it easier to enroll and stay enrolled. 2,000 more county eligibility workers will be hired. They’ll join the 15,000 current county eligibility workers whose jobs we protected and who will be responsible for enrolling new Medi-Cal patients.
- We expanded Medi-Cal without taking healthcare away from anyone. We protected the healthcare safety net from deep cuts that would have crippled our ability to provide preventive and primary care to the 3-4 million Californians who remain uninsured.
- Savings realized under the new system will be reinvested back into the counties, to improve healthcare services and ensure that our hospitals become providers of choice.
While we can be proud of these major accomplishments, much remains to be done:
- We need to get uninsured Californians to enroll. SEIU locals have undertaken a huge portion of the work to educate Californians about their new healthcare options.
- We need to improve quality in our healthcare system. It’s not enough just to expand Medi-Cal and protect our healthcare safety net. These systems need more funding in order to provide quality care. SEIU is working to identify revenue options for healthcare.
- We need to keep working to expand coverage. With 3-4 million people still uninsured, half of whom may have access to care through county-based healthcare safety net programs, we still have a long way to go before all Californians are covered.
“We spoke up and we got heard. It’s amazing what we can do as one union. Healthcare for all!”
— Eduardo Ramirez Client Benefit Specialist, Ventura Human Svcs. Agency
“We want all Californians to have healthcare because we are interconnected.”
— Morris “Big Money” Griffin Custodian, Hall of Records