Sunday, January 15, 2017

Action Report: Our First Stand Rally

It was energizing this afternoon to join a large crowd who rallied at the LA County / USC Medical Center for #OurFirstStand to save our healthcare. The rally was well-organized and had a number of good speakers on the theme. Dan Castillo, CEO of the LAC+USC Medical Center, observed that thanks to ACA, the number of uninsured patients coming into their system has dropped from 16% to 2-4%. Mitch Katz, director of LA County Healthcare said that 1.2 million LA County residents had gained coverage under the ACA, while SEIU Local 721 leader Bob Schoonover noted that 63,000 jobs had been created. (It was good to see the "boss" and the union leader speaking side by side on this issue.) Dr. Ronald Brown, the chief resident of psychiatry, spoke about how helpful the ACA's provisions for mental health and substance abuse care have been in helping people with those issues get effective solutions, who in the past would be repeat clients at the emergency room for their symptoms but never getting their root cause problems solved. A couple of individuals spoke about how the ACA has been a lifesaver for them. One was a self-employed insurance broker who had a major medical issue, the other was a daycare provider with a chronic thyroid "pre-existing condition". These woman ran small businesses, the sort where most of our economic growth comes from, and the sort that helping should be a bipartisan issue. They spoke about how the ACA helped keep them on their feet, able to work and to keep their families together, against forces that before the ACA would have been crushing. (See photos from rally.)

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