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Opinion: Federal Case Threatens California Dialysis Patients’ Access to Health Insurance

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature, with the best of intentions, enacted AB 290 to protect dialysis patients from predatory insurance practices that seem harmful to patients. But the state disproportionately favored the more powerful voice of the insurance industry, which claims that dialysis providers use charities to “steer” low-income dialysis patients into the private insurance market so they can be reimbursed at a higher rate.

Opinion: We Need Clear, Fact-Based Guidance to Recover from Trump’s Public Charge Rule

Years of xenophobic rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies have fostered deeply entrenched fears and widespread misinformation that keep immigrants from accessing critical resources.

We need a proactive, collaborative approach to begin healing the harm caused by the Trump administration’s public charge rule. From community organizations to state agencies, we must provide clear guidance to families and tackle fear with facts.

Analysis: The Case for Defunding the Police

Local governments invest a huge percentage of their budgets in policing, often to the detriment of other community services. Yet the results of this enormous taxpayer outlay are mediocre at best.

That’s why advocates across the country are calling on governments to reduce police budgets and reallocate those funds to services that tackle the underlying social and economic factors generating crime and perpetuating structural racism. These include programs such as job training, mental health services, homelessness prevention and basic income supports.

Some Kids in Long-Term Care Facilities Didn’t See Parents for More Than a Year

Throughout the pandemic, medically fragile children in California’s pediatric long-term care facilities and their parents have endured drastic limits on their ability to see and interact with each other. Some locations barred parents and other caregivers from visiting their children in person for over a year, citing virus safety precautions.

Advocates and parents said they’re concerned that visitation policies at pediatric subacute units during the pandemic may have caused long-term harm to kids.

Opinion: California Has Opportunity to Close Racial Health Gap

The California Black Women’s Health Project and other health and racial justice organizations are grateful to the California Legislature for supporting our bold proposal to fund community programs seeking to address systemic racism embedded in health care systems.

The California Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund would dedicate $100 million annually, a fraction of the state’s historic surplus, to innovative approaches to transform systems, eliminate disparities and improve health.

Opinion: Accurate Patient Data is Key to Reducing Health Disparities, Improving Care

To transform the future of health care, we must understand current care. This is especially true when it comes to addressing the multiple socioeconomic and other factors that drive health disparities.

Right now, our ability to reduce these inequities and increase quality of care for those most in need is limited because we do not have accurate and complete information about how our most vulnerable patients access health care.

Volunteer Pilots Connect Remote Areas to Advanced Medical Treatment

An estimated 3.6 million Americans are unable to receive medical care each year due to transportation challenges. A nonprofit organization of volunteer pilots called Angel Flight West is working to connect California residents in remote areas with needed care.

Air Care Alliance estimates that 25,000 public benefit flights, such as those operated by Angel Flight West, take place every year in the United States.

The Central California Town That Keeps Sinking

In California’s San Joaquin Valley, the farming town of Corcoran has a multimillion-dollar problem. It is almost impossible to see, yet so vast it takes NASA scientists using satellite technology to fully grasp. Corcoran is sinking.

Over the past 14 years, the town has sunk as much as 11.5 feet in some places — enough to swallow the entire first floor of a two-story house and to at times make Corcoran one of the fastest-sinking areas in the country, according to experts with the United States Geological Survey.

A man crosses Market Street in San Francisco last April during the pandemic. Photo by Philip Wyers / iStock

Opinion: An Equitable COVID-19 Recovery Requires Renewed Public Health Investment

As a second-generation public health nurse, I can assure you another crisis will inevitably come. It could be a wildfire, poor air quality, extreme heat, another disease outbreak, an earthquake or bioterrorism. No one knows, which makes investment in our readiness so important.

Only one thing is certain: The next emergency will reveal our progress, and our failures, in addressing social inequities.

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