The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
For Immediate Release
January 4, 2021
Contact: Monika Lee, (858)-353-7271
Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network urges Governor Newsom to appoint a champion of health equity and someone who represents California’s racial, ethnic, LGBTQ+, and gender diversity to serve as California’s next Attorney General.
With the nomination of current Attorney General Xavier Becerra to President- elect Biden’s administration as Health and Human Services Secretary, whoever Governor Newsom appoints must continue and expand upon Becerra’s track record of protecting access to health care for millions of Californians including immigrants, women, seniors, people with disabilities and LGTBQ+ individuals. Attorney General Becerra was the lead Plaintiff in efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act’s expanded access to Medi-Cal and subsidies to purchase health insurance, against efforts to strike down the law.
In a state as diverse as ours, it is imperative our elected officials not only represent us but that they work with a focus on inequities and disparities that have been underscored by this pandemic. Communities of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals continue to face the worst of the pandemic due to systemic racism and underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes. With a health equity champion leading the charge, their health and well-being will be centered in the Attorney General’s protection and defense in court and enforcement.
Among the areas an incoming Attorney General has jurisdiction over: anti-discrimination enforcement, anti-trust issues relating to pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and hospitals, LGBTQ+ health, reproductive justice, prescription drug pricing, and more as it relates to criminal justice, immigrant rights, and civil rights.
Governor Newsom has the opportunity to continue his track record of historic appointments, after the announcements of Secretary of State Alex Padilla to the Senate and Assemblymember Shirley Weber to Secretary of State.
We look forward to working alongside the new Attorney General in advancing health equity, not just during the pandemic, but long after as well.