Opinion

Opinion: Federal Legislation Can Advance Oral Health Equity and Racial Justice

High costs, lack of clarity over which benefits are covered and limited providers, especially ones that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, have forced historically excluded communities to delay or completely forgo oral health care.

Delayed care often leads to excruciating pain only a costly emergency room visit can fix, leaving people with thousands of dollars of medical debt.

Opinion: Doctors Are Infrastructure

Report findings predict that by 2034, there will be a shortage of 124,000 doctors, with much of the shortage occurring in the field of primary care.

With COVID-19 exposing immense inequity throughout our health care infrastructure, it is imperative that our lawmakers take action now, not only by thinking about reducing shortages but reducing them in the right way that ensures quality access for all.

Opinion: Why This Teacher Supports Bill to Improve Teen Mental Health

I have spent the past 30 years of my life as an educator in California, and I know firsthand that California teachers and schools are not currently prepared, staffed, or resourced to respond to California’s growing youth mental health crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our collective mental wellbeing, whether from dealing with the fear of contracting COVID-19 to its related impacts like home isolation, family job loss, tech challenges, or loss of a loved one.

Analysis: Want a Mostly Normal School Year? Get Kids to Wear Masks!

We made the decision to send our son back to in-person school last year despite his vulnerability to infection because our district came up with a reasonable, safe plan to make it possible: Every student had to wear a mask.

Just as we were gearing up for a mostly safe year back at school, the Clovis Unified school board decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and create unnecessary confusion over which mask policies would be enforced, despite clear state guidance.

Analysis: It’s Time to End the Racially Unjust Medical Debt Crisis

It’s the kind of case attorney Helen Tran deals with all too often. An Asian-American small business owner came into her office at Neighborhood Legal Services in Los Angeles begging for help with a surprise, five-figure medical bill.

The woman had health insurance. Yet, due to a mix-up caused by misinformation from her insurer, she’d received two chemotherapy treatments from an out-of-network provider that she had believed was in network. This simple mistake ended up devastating her financially.

Opinion: Investing in ‘Public Health, Health Equity and Racial Justice’ Is the Key to Pandemic Recovery

Community-based organizations have been a critical anchor in historically marginalized neighborhoods. They work tirelessly on the frontlines with public health departments to get important, timely information out to the community.

Now that the 2021-22 state budget has recently received approval, it’s imperative that Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature understand the importance of investing in public health.

Opinion: Newsom Plan Responds to Crisis, Supports Vulnerable Youth

While the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our oldest Californians is well known, the pandemic also has caused widespread emotional suffering among California’s children and youth.

Out of this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom has demonstrated visionary leadership in making a historic $4.4 billion investment to transform the state’s behavioral health system for youth.

Opinion: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Is Helping Young People Find Purpose During the Pandemic

During my nearly 15 years as an adolescent psychiatrist, I have worked with hundreds of young people and their families. But, until last year, I had not seen hopelessness so prevalent in young people.

The pandemic affected teens and young adults in fundamental ways not necessarily associated with the coronavirus or the social isolation often blamed for spiraling youth mental health.

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.

Analysis: Care for Children with Disabilities Is Infrastructure, Too. Let’s Invest in it.

As federal and state policy makers make plans for infrastructure and budgetary spending, let’s not forget to invest in the infrastructure of care too, particularly for children with disabilities.

The framework of support that makes it possible for families to care for children with complex care needs safely, in their own homes and in their local school systems, is part of our infrastructure of care.

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