The Having Our Say coalition was founded in 2007 to raise the voices of communities of color in the health reform debate and to advocate for access to quality health care for all. Three years later, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law and 3.4 million previously uninsured California residents received health care insurance, some for the very first time. In 2015, thanks to the hard work of advocates, California expanded Medi-Cal to cover all low-income children, regardless of their immigration status. An estimated 250,000 undocumented children enrolled. We have since expanded Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented youth in 2019 and have continued to advocate for the right to health for all, including addressing systemic racism and injustices that disproportionally impact communities of color and directly lead to health disparities.
Since the passage of the ACA, the Coalition has:
- Focused on health reform implementation in California and making sure that it reflects the voices and needs of our diverse communities.
- Advocated for policies and practices that address health disparities and promote a holistic and intersectional approach to health in communities of color.
- Supported policies that directly address the social determinants of health, like unemployment, housing, pollution and violence prevention and justice system reforms.
- Educated policymakers, our communities and the media about health disparities and the importance of equitable health policies and programs for communities of color.
The Having Our Say coalition believes that the right to health and health care is one of the most fundamental rights of all people. Health care should be available and accessible to all, culturally and linguistically appropriate, center a person’s needs, and recognize the diverse communities in California as assets and strengths. Meanwhile, our coalition recognizes that health is about more than health care. The distribution of resources, institutional racism, entrenched social systems and government policies all impact our opportunities to live healthy lives. Ultimately, we envision a world in which all communities have an equal opportunity to live with optimal physical, mental, oral, and overall health and well-being, and to thrive. Every year, the coalition brings together over 40 member organizations, including grassroots community organizations, health care clinics and providers, and advocates to fight for health equity and racial justice. CPEHN is the organizer and facilitator of the Having Our Say coalition.
Uninsured Californians are undocumented immigrants
Of Medi-Cal enrollees speak English less than very well
Of Californians who live within a mile of an oil or gas well are people of color