health reform

Opinion: We Need a New Conversation About Health

Governor Newsom’s budget proposals could make real progress in ending inequities and boosting health in California.

But national political leaders should also be asking: What forces shape health and well-being—today and in the future? What do Americans really need and want in terms of health? Can we design a healthier future for all of us, not just people with the most money and privilege?

Court ruling opens door to big changes in health care

By Daniel Weintraub

The Supreme Court decision last week upholding President Barack Obama’s health reform law clears the way for a transformation in the way millions of Californians will get their health insurance, and, ultimately, their care.

For the shrinking number of people who still receive insurance coverage as a benefit from their employers – mostly at big companies – the changes will be gradual at first, though still significant. And despite assurances from Obama, it is still not clear that most people will be able to keep the coverage they have today.

But for individuals who do not have insurance because they are unemployed, self-employed or working in places that do not offer health benefits, the change will be dramatic, fast and probably to their liking.

Little Clinic, Huge Heart

Dr. Dimitri Sirakoff, the founder and medical director of Serve the People Health Center, rushed around his small, bright clinic tucked into an office complex in Santa Ana one recent afternoon. Whipping around in his white-coat and clutching charts in hand, the doctor has the impatient demeanor of a man on a mission. Sirakoff started this clinic with a skeleton staff because he saw in his own private practice a great need to serve the community of poor, low-income, and primarily Latino patients in Santa Ana who could not afford health care.

Megan Baier

Local grants will aim to transform communities, improve health

A little known part of the federal health reform enacted earlier this year aims to improve health by improving the conditions under which people live. Part of a planned $15 billion investment in prevention programs, community transformation grants will provide money to clean up neighborhoods, rejuvenate neglected parks, and expand access to healthy foods.

Megan Baier

Promotores could see boost from federal health reform

California is preparing for a major expansion of support and funding for promotores – grass roots health workers who work within their own communities to reach out to rural, remote and otherwise underserved populations. Federal health reform includes $15 billion for prevention programs, including promotores, and California will be competing for a share of that money.

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