Governor Newson and the State Legislature have reached an agreement in the 2020-21 California budget. The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) is deeply disappointed in the decision to indefinitely delay the expansion to Medi-Cal for undocumented Seniors. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a double burden to the Latinx community. Latinos are not only overrepresented in the number of cases and deaths but are also the hardest-hit by unemployment. In this critical moment in our State’s history, the LCHC will continue to fight for health equity investments so that we don’t further deepen existing racial and economic disparities.
We are relieved that the Legislature’s advocacy ensured the preservation of safety-net programs, including:
- Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS)
- Multipurpose Senior Service Program (MSSP)
- Postpartum Extended Coverage in Medi-Cal
- Health Care Outreach and Enrollment Navigators
- Medi-Cal Benefits including Speech, Vision, Diabetes Prevention Programs, Substance Treatment, and Hearing Aid Coverage
- Community Clinics Protections
- Dental Coverage protections
- Black Infant Health Program
The safeguarding of critical health care and social service programs is the least we can do to protect the wellbeing of the Latinx community during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this crisis has highlighted the need for additional investments in health care and social services for impacted communities. This is a status quo budget and doesn’t inspire the systemic transformation needed to achieve health and justice for all Californians.
“We are disappointed with the exclusion of Health4All Seniors in Final 2020-21 #CABudget. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income Latinx communities across the State, including Latinx Seniors. This delay will result in an exacerbation of existing health disparities. It’s time we remove immigration status as a barrier to comprehensive Medi-Cal. LCHC will continue to advocate and elevate the importance of health equity and sustainable investments during such critical times.” Said Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, Executive Director at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
The Latinx community in California is facing some of the harshest health and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward, we urge the Administration and Legislature to find ways to support and prioritize social and health care services in order to build a more inclusive, equitable, and just health system.