Political and civil rights leaders like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as African American medical leaders such as Dr. Thelma Patten Law, believed that all people need access to health care to complete their education, plan their lives, and protect their families. As our nation celebrates Black History Month this February, we’re honoring that commitment and are grateful for their vision and national leadership in expanding access to health care. Planned Parenthood believes we must continue their life’s work by shining a needed light on racial injustice and ongoing disparities in our communities.
Addressing Disparity IN CALIFORNIA
Black History Month presents the perfect opportunity to highlight critical work happening in California to push for progressive policies that help reduce disparity. Make sure to check out the excellent work of California-based organizations like Black Women for Wellness Los Angeles, Forward Together, and California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, among many other organizations doing key work across the state.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California supports organizations leading the way on economic justice issues, like Western Center on Law & Poverty, Access Women’s Health Justice and more in pushing forward important policies in California which were presented as part of the California Women's Summit – learn about these recommendations and policies.
ADDRESSING HEALTH DISPARITY
Far too many African Americans continue to face unequal access to proper health care and education services. As a result, African-American women are dying at higher rates than their white counterparts due to breast cancer, cervical cancer, HIV, and other illnesses that can be detected early. As long as there are barriers to economic and educational opportunities, as well as social and political equity, obstacles will also remain in the way of full health care.
Since the first open enrollment period, over 1.7 million African Americans nationally have enrolled in health insurance through Obamacare, lowering the uninsured rate by 6.8 percent. Prior to this, African Americans were 55 percent more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts.
Fortunately, Obamacare has increased access to health insurance and improved coverage. But in California many challenges remain with access to healthcare for Californians with health insurance through Medi-Cal program. Improving access to healthcare is a key priority for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and we believe that fully funding Medi-Cal in this year’s state budget is the necessary step to address this growing problem.
We must deliver on the promise of new health insurance coverage for those covered by Medi-Cal – to do this we MUST fully fund Medi-Cal! California can take the first steps in the budget by reversing the harmful 10% cuts and improving the outdated reimbursement rates to ensure there are enough providers to rise up to meet the growing need for health care services. Together we can work to address healthcare access disparities head-on.
Do you need health insurance? Go to Covered California to learn more and apply for coverage before the February 15 deadline.