California Voters will Decide this November on Historic Initiative to Improve Healthcare in the State 

The historic initiative to expand access to and improve healthcare for all Californians took another significant step forward this week as the “Protect Access to Care” initiative officially became eligible for the November 2024 ballot.

California Voters will Decide this November on Historic Initiative to Improve Healthcare in the State 
The historic initiative to expand access to and improve healthcare for all Californians took another significant step forward this week as the “Protect Access to Care” initiative officially became eligible for the November 2024 ballot.

The initiative will maintain an existing tax on health insurance companies and bring billions of dollars in federal funding to California to improve care for patients across the state, particularly the more than 15 million Californians who depend on Medi-Cal for health insurance.

The initiative has already garnered substantial support from a wide and diverse coalition of statewide and community organizations, healthcare providers, labor unions, and elected officials, and is backed by both the California Democratic Party and the California Republican Party. Groups supporting the measure include community health centers, health care workers, children’s groups, emergency physicians and first responders.

The initiative will increase reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal providers, some of which have not been increased in decades, and will expand California’s education and training programs to create a pipeline of new health care providers, including physicians, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, and medical assistants. This funding will help alleviate provider shortages, particularly in underserved areas of the state.

“With more than 5 million children enrolled in Medi-Cal and over half of all births in California covered by the program, Medi-Cal is essential for ensuring health and well-being for our children and families,” said Gabby Tilley, Associate Director of Policy and Partnerships, The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health. “Medi-Cal is under significant strain, resulting in children having inadequate access to physicians, dentists, and other health care providers. This initiative is crucial for making effective school-based health care financially viable, strengthening our overall healthcare system, and securing a healthier future for California’s children and families.”

“Each day, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals across the state of California witness firsthand the current deficiencies in our healthcare system. Chronic underfunding in the industry has systematically exhausted EMS and complicated the delivery of quality emergency care. It’s time the voters of California have a say in the future of this critical infrastructure; we join our partners in healthcare in urging voters in California to approve the Protect Access to Care Initiative, which would help ensure that the health care system and providers have the tools and resources needed to deliver timely, quality care to all,” said Phil Petit, National Director of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics.

“El Proyecto del Barrio is proud to stand with the coalition in support of the Protect Access to Care Initiative. The measure, which is now officially eligible for the November 2024 ballot, will pave the way for a future where access to quality health care is not just a privilege, but a fundamental right. By making a permanent investment in our healthcare system, it lays the groundwork for a more resilient and equitable healthcare system that can meet the needs of generations to come,” said Corinne Sanchez, Esq., President/CEO of El Proyecto del Barrio, Inc.

The Protect Access to Care Initiative will:

• Expand access to preventive healthcare for Medi-Cal patients, reducing costly emergency room visits and decreasing wait times for everyone.

• Protect existing healthcare funds to keep hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices open and expand access to care.

• Help California manufacture its own insulin and other prescription drugs at significantly lower prices.

For more information, visit AccessToHealthcareCA.com.

About the Coalition to Protect Access to Care

The Coalition to Protect Access to Care is a group of physicians, hospitals, healthcare workers, community health centers, Planned Parenthood, dentists, health plans and emergency responders dedicated to increasing access to healthcare.