low income

Oct 18, 2019 Berkeley / CA / USA - 'Black lives matter' slogan posted on the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse billboard in downtown Berkeley

Letter From the Editor: How Racism Affects Californians

The pandemic and protests have laid bare the depths of our nation’s disparities. Your race should not determine whether you live or die. It should not influence whether your doctor listens to you, or whether you can breathe clean air.

But—too often—it does.

In my own family, I’ve seen the results of racism and redlining play out over generations in Los Angeles, limiting where some family members could purchase homes, raise their children and retire.

A crowd of people wearing face masks in Los Angeles during COVID-19 face masks in Los Angeles

Opinion: The Pandemic Is Exposing How Fragile My Patients’ Lives Are

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on millions of Californians. This is especially true among low-income families, including my patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Most of our families barely get by in the best of times. How will they fare during a viral-induced economic downturn? The pandemic is exposing how fragile their lives are.

For Californians Without Water Access, Coronavirus Adds Another Layer of Struggle

As Californians across the state shelter at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, an estimated 1 million of them lack access to clean drinking water, one of the most fundamental resources for maintaining health and hygiene.

Many of these residents are concentrated in rural parts of the state, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, where dozens of small public water systems fail to meet safety standards.

Coronavirus Forces Low-Wage Workers to Make Difficult Choices

As public health officials call on Californians to help stop the spread of the virus, many low-wage workers are being forced to make potentially life-threatening choices: whether to heed the precautions and lose income they rely on, or to show up for work anyway in order to put food on their tables and pay their rent.

These choices could be critical because low-wage earners often have jobs involving interactions with the public, such as serving food, caring for the elderly or cleaning hotel rooms.

Opinion: CalRx Is Not a Magic Bullet—and Must Include Communities of Color

Gov. Gavin Newsom has outlined innovative reforms to curb drug prices, including CalRx, a California-owned, generic drug label.

But CalRx is not a magic bullet. Magic bullets and general solutions often overlook the impacts on communities of color.

If CalRx does not intentionally build a path of access for low-income folks and communities of color, it will just be creating cheaper, but still unattainable, prescription drugs.

Tech Project Aims to Address Disparities in Who Can Access Health Records

Apple users are the only ones who can access their health records on their phones. CommonHealth, a new app for Android users, wants to change that and tackle health disparities in the process.

“Android users tend to earn lower incomes, so medical centers using the Apple app are cutting out (a large fraction of patients),” said Ida Sim, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, where she leads the team piloting the app.

Kids Could Lose Food Stamps, School Meals Under Proposed Federal Change

A Trump administration proposal to change how states determine who qualifies for food stamps could lead to thousands of California children going hungry at home and at school, analysts say.

The policy is a lifeline for low-income families in high-cost-of-living states, like California, where housing, child care and medical expenses can eat up a large portion of people’s earnings.

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