S.B. Black Healthcare Town Hall
By Dianne Anderson
Trashing Obamacare, a never-ending Republican fight, has statewide health advocates doubling up to deal with what lurks ahead for the poor, the elderly, and anyone with pre-existing conditions.
Part of the remedy is to get at the table to help shape policy and legislation from on high.
The California Black Health Network is calling on the community to attend a Town Hall meeting for the chance to talk about the health issues and concerns they are facing in San Bernardino.
For those that may not like haggling in public forum, CBHN is facilitating a two-part convening where stakeholders and community members can offer their input in a forum-friendly environment.
“We understand that not everyone feels comfortable talking in groups, therefore we will have other mediums for sharing your thoughts and suggestions and still be able to be present,” CBHN said in a release.
On Friday, September 29, CBHN is asking the Black community to take charge of their future health. From 3-5:00 p.m., the event is open to stakeholders, local leaders, professionals, health advocates, the faith-based community, legislators and health care providers.
From 7-9:00 p.m., the event opens for all community members, including stakeholders to contribute their recommendations around Black health and wellness. Refreshments will be provided. It will be held at the New Hope Family Life Center, located at 1505 W. Highland Ave in San Bernardino.
The goal is to engage community dialogue, to document concerns, and bring the input to Sacramento that will guide legislation toward equal access to healthcare.
Similar Town Hall meetings are now going on statewide.
“Of course, we want to hear from the actual community and constituents that we advocate on their behalf. From 5-7 pm is the town hall meeting for community members, which stakeholders are welcomed to be a part of as well. In this time, we hold space for the community to proclaim matters that are important to them that should be the focus of our efforts in impacting legislation,” CBHN stated.
As President Obama’s Affordable Care Act continues to lead the forefront of political conversations, the question of healthcare sparked a barrage of tweets from both sides of the House over the weekend.
Sen. Kamala Harris is among the 16 Democrat Senators that co-signed #Medicareforall, and emphasized her support for the legislation as a moral and ethical commitment.
If passed, Medicare for All legislation would give the same federal health coverage that seniors — 65 years and older — currently receive, and expand that healthcare coverage for all Americans.
“Healthcare should be a right for everyone in this country and not a privilege for the few,” Sen. Harris said. “We need to have a system where we’re being smart, and maximizing our ability to ensure that every American has access to healthcare.”
Last week, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the new “Medicare for All” bill, which the Senate Budget Committee estimates could save the average middle-class family $4,400 per year.
In tracking consumer sentiment, Kaiser Family Foundation polls show that the numbers have edged up from 40% in 2000 to 53% of Americans in 2017 in support of government sponsored single payer healthcare.
Donald Trump has threatened to veto Sanders’ free healthcare bill if and when it hits his desk.
Even though Republicans still dominate the White House, the House and Senate, and can squash any legislation they collectively vote down, recent moves by Democrats are paving the way for a turnaround.
But, recognition for the first push with the original Single Payer health bill plan goes to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI 13), who again reintroduced his bill on the House side earlier this year, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. He has introduced it every year since 2003.
His bill, now on the House side, HR 676, has gained strong Democratic support so far with 119 supporters signed on, and counting.
In a recent statement, Rep. Conyers said there are still millions of Americans uninsured or can’t afford their premiums. He thanked Sen. Bernie Sanders for introducing the companion bill in the Senate.
“Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it,” he said.