A Postcard from California: Cal Wellness Foundation President on the ACA and the Foundation’s New Grants Program
October 29th, 2014
A few short months after I took the helm as The California Wellness Foundation’s president and CEO, the results of our eighth annual Cal Wellness/Field Health Policy Survey were released. I dug into the results to get a view of what Californians are thinking and feeling about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) implementation in our state.
Here’s my key take-away—Californians are happy with the ACA. And the percentage of bipartisan support for the ACA has risen steadily in California over the years.
I think it’s likely that the satisfaction will continue to increase as folks who have experienced tangible health benefits through the ACA share those success stories.
While other states—including my childhood home of Virginia—have opted not to expand Medicaid through the ACA, in California nearly two of three voters said that the state’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal) is important and that it’s been successful in meeting its objectives.
This positive outlook is attributable to more than just California sunshine.
For one thing, California has a history of working across political divides on health care reform. Years before the ACA, California tried to create statewide health system reform. While reform didn’t happen then, it laid the ground work for policy makers to prioritize health care access. California health foundations have been working together since then, too.
Also, and perhaps most significantly, a robust cadre of health advocates has been central to bringing grassroots voices to the attention of policy makers. This is why Cal Wellness has a strong grant-making commitment to support public policy advocacy organizations. Read the rest of this entry »