Analysis

Analysis: The Vaccine Is a Health Equity Issue for Kids Like My Son

The COVID vaccine for children is safe and effective, and it’s the best way to protect not only children but also the larger community.

Was I concerned about the risks of the vaccine? No. COVID is a far greater threat to my son, who has to go to the ICU when exposed to the kind of germs that give healthy kids the sniffles. The vaccination also benefits my healthy daughter, who won’t have her schooling interrupted by quarantines.

Analysis: How Schools Can Ensure an Equitable Recovery from COVID

While California has one of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the nation and a high vaccination rate, the reopening of schools has proven rocky.

To better understand how the reopening effort is playing out on the ground, I spoke with educators from Oakland Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District — two public-school districts that primarily serve students of color.

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.

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.

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.

Analysis: Why California Should Expand Health Coverage to Undocumented Seniors

While President Barack Obama’s 2010 health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded insurance access, it excluded undocumented immigrants across the country. This likely contributed to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on undocumented Californians. Health equity and immigrant rights advocates have been urging California leaders to broaden health coverage for nearly a decade.

Analysis: We Can Build an Equitable Health Workforce. Here’s How

California’s leaders must build a diverse and culturally competent health workforce. This starts with making investments in the communities that are most vulnerable and medically underserved.

Policymakers should work to expand health career pipeline programs for underrepresented students. Programs such as Health Career Connection have driven talented students of color into health care and public health careers for years. Full disclosure: I’m an alum.

My Grandparents’ Redlining Story Shows Why We Must Do Better

I share this part of my grandfather’s story to illustrate the real and lasting impacts of institutional racism: The same policies that cultivated wealth for White people in the United States prohibited the accumulation of wealth for Black people.

Today, as we face the impact of COVID-19 and the racial inequities it is revealing, our leaders have an opportunity to do better. Now is an opportune time to create equitable policies.

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