The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
For Immediate Release
June 26, 2021
Contact: Monika Lee, (858) 353-7271
Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released the following statement as Governor Newsom and the California Legislature negotiated a final state budget deal (FY 2021-2022).
“It is clear that California is at a fork in the road. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified stark and unacceptable health disparities, as people of color got sick, lost jobs, and died from the virus in unparalleled numbers. This Budget turns a corner by making record investments in health equity including:
- Providing access to health coverage through Medi-Cal for seniors age 50 and older regardless of immigration status.
- Continuing the groundbreaking work of the California Reducing Disparities Project to tackle mental health inequities.
- Ensuring that consumer health care materials are accurately translated and language access is a reality.
- Creating systems to track and act upon health disparities data.
- Building accountability mechanisms to ensure that health plans provide quality and equitable care.
Together, these investments have the potential to shift the paradigm in the state of California.
At the same time, we are deeply disappointed that the budget agreement does not reflect the urgency of the most pressing public health crisis of our time: racism. This budget misses the opportunity to invest $100 million in the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund and to spur innovation and community investment to advance racial justice. We appreciate that the Governor and the Legislature have made a commitment to $300 million, ongoing, for public health infrastructure beginning in 2022-2023, and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the swift and full implementation of the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund.”