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Tomorrow, April 11th, the It’s Our Healthcare Coalition will hold a press event in Los Angeles to tell Governor Jerry Brown that we need him to expand Medi-Cal as quickly and as fully as possible. The event, which will feature local officials, health practitioners and consumers, is scheduled for 10:45am at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center at 2015 Marengo Street.

California’s communities of color have a large stake in state efforts to expand the Medi-Cal program. The landmark federal health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, provides federal funding to expand Medi-Cal to over 1.4 million uninsured Californians in 2014, over two-thirds of whom are from communities of color and over one-third of whom speak English less than very well. Our state legislators have been working hard to expand Medi-Cal which is 100% federally funded over the next three years and have pushed proposals through both houses. But Governor Brown’s administration has yet to endorse these efforts.

We need Governor Brown to join the legislature in expanding Medi-Cal as soon as possible. Any more delays in implementation will make it extremely difficult to get everyone who is eligible for the program covered on January 1st. It’s time to take a stand for the health of our communities and our state.

At the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), we work to eliminate health disparities in communities of color. As part of these efforts, we are a participant in the It’s Our Healthcare Coalition, a consumer-based advocacy campaign that seeks to gather stories and experiences from Californians and use those stories to inform health care reform policy debates.

Cary Sanders is Director of Policy Analysis at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Director of the Having Our Say Coalition.

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