This blog is part of a series that will highlight how structural racism in the health care system negatively affects the health of individuals of color. Community Catalyst is committed to exposing and dismantling policies, practices and attitudes that routinely produce cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color in the health system.
Californians have a number of reasons to celebrate these days, particularly the victory of Health4All Kids. But even with this accomplishment, there is still work to be done to make sure that Health4All becomes a reality.
In the 1960’s, President Lyndon Johnson kicked off the original Health For All efforts with the War on Poverty. It gave us Medicare, Medicaid, and helped us establish a nation-wide network of community clinics and health centers, whose mission was to provide care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
Despite the odds, obstacles and budget cuts, these determined non-profit health centers endured, and in fact, they grew. Passionately dedicated to their mission, they built a system of health care one patient and one community at a time.
Today, community clinics and health centers, referred to as CaliforniaHealth+, operate more than 1,100 health centers and serve more than 5.6 million patients each year - that’s 1 in 7 Californians! They live at the heart of our communities and provide care in a way that respects the culture, tradition, and values of those they serve.
Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, an act that created both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. With one stroke of his pen, President Johnson put in place an unprecedented commitment to health that has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans.