This past weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that mandates a new process for discharging homeless patients from California hospitals. Though well-intentioned, this new law misses the bigger and more urgent problem: assuring that sufficient beds and supportive care are actually available for homeless patients.
It is unfathomable that the Health Care department would single out this one group of economically challenged children to undergo this experimental program. Meanwhile, children who are financially better off do not have to go through this change. The result is that the transition is creating unequal access to health care for low-income, medically fragile children.
Silicon Valley faced a seemingly impossible task: create permanent housing solutions for its most vulnerable residents in one of the least affordable markets in the world.
Yet, despite this daunting challenge, over the past five years, the tide finally seems to be turning.
Traditionally, the housing and health care industries have viewed one another as distinct. This distinction has prohibited us from seeing our broader intersections with economic, social and racial equity—and the solutions.
Every time a young person who suffers from addiction reaches out for help, we have an incredible and precious opportunity to find the road back to the youth’s full potential. Wasting that opportunity isn’t just a waste of public dollars, it is a matter of life or death.
That is why my organization, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, is sponsoring legislation, Senate Bill 275, to create clear standards for youth substance use disorder prevention, early intervention and treatment.
The people who come into our shelter in Santa Cruz County have frequently been beaten, trafficked and sexually assaulted in Central America. They have come to the United States as a last resort—in order to save their lives.
But a policy change under our current presidential administration threatens the health and well-being of these victims of violence.
As our country faces a gun violence epidemic, I find myself perplexed by the blatant gaps in our prevention systems. California law and the public agree that batterers should not own guns, and yet law enforcement agencies are not equipped to enforce these regulations.
We can minimize the harmful effects of health disparities by designing programs that offer accessible, evidence-based interventions that empower people. A new approach to medicine—that takes into account a person’s way of life, culture and neighborhood—is helping.
If adopted as written, the Farm Bill would result in devastating repercussions for those who are already food insecure in our country.
And exactly who would be affected? Your neighbors. Your children’s teachers. Your colleagues. The barista at your favorite coffee shop. Senior citizens and people with disabilities. Veterans. Maybe even your own family.
With 434,000 children in subsidized child care and preschool in California, improving early-care environments across the state is crucial for our future. As a child-care provider in South Los Angeles, I know I could do more if I had additional resources.